Perennial Lupine

2012 has been a great year for lupines in South-central Alaska; the weather has been a nice balance between several days in a row of rain followed by several days in a row of sunshine, which must be just what lupines need to grow tall and beautiful. I can’t remember the last time we had so many lupines in so many places! They’re everywhere right now–along both sides of my driveway, alongside the highway, all over the back lot at work, and at the edges of random parking lots.

Lupines are such a beautiful flower. The dark-purple-to-white color variation on the individual blossoms is particularly striking. But the leaves are actually my favorite part of the flower.

Perennial lupines (pictured here), have distinctive palmate leaves spreading out in a segmented, circular arrangement from a central point. These six-pointed leaves are blue-green in color and the plant maintains the same size ratio from seedling to maturity.