Wildflower Wednesday: Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine

Common Name: Wild Lupine

Scientific Name: Lupinus perennis

Habitat & Range: sunny fields & open woodland in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula

Bloom Time: late spring & early summer

About: Wild Lupine is the only host plant for the threatened Karner Blue butterfly caterpillar. In order to maintain the health of the plant and the existence of the Karner Blue, please NEVER cut, pick, or transplant Wild Lupine. This is a good general rule to follow with all native wildflower species. Enjoy them where they are, take a picture, and leave them be. If you love the look of Lupines and want them in your garden, there are many domestic varieties to choose from that form pleasant clumps of flowers. Or, if you’d like to be part of the solution to the Karner Blue butterfly’s plight, get native plants that have been grown from seed at your friendly neighborhood university plant sale. Calvin College and Michigan State University both have yearly plant sales in May that include important native plants.

Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000