Many people I ask tell me that the lupines are their favorite North Shore flowers...even though the flowers aren't native. I guess that makes the lupine like a lot of us: outsiders who have tried to fit in and make the North Shore a little better for everyone.
As you enjoy these towers of flowers, here's a few fun facts to add to your enjoyment:
- "Lupine", as any decent fan of Harry Potter knows, is related to the Latin word for wolf (get it, Professor Lupin...the kind-hearted werewolf?). It was once thought that lupines "wolfed" the nutrients out of the soil, hence the name.
- The North Shore lupine are known scientifically as Lupinus polyphyllus. They are native to the western US coastal mountains
- The best stands on Highway 61 are between Two Harbors and Gooseberry. They are often found along the roadside near older homesteads. There are also amazing fields of them between the Pigeon River and Thunder Bay.
- Showing just how perfect they are for the North Shore, lupine do poorly in rich soil. Good thing we're mostly gravel, bedrock and clay up here!