The lavender of the crocuses is gone and we’re into the blue period of the seasonal wildflower show.
These flowers are wild lupines. At least that’s what we call them here in the Yukon. Texans call them bluebonnets—which makes them sound a whole lot more intriguing, doesn’t it?—and have given them the honor of being their official state flower.
Lupines are legumes, which means they are related to peas and beans and peanuts. Each one of those little blooms on the stock grows into a peapod-like seed packet. You don’t want to eat the seeds of these legume pods, though, because they contain a bitter poison. Thankfully, lupines make up for their toxicity with their loveliness, and before long I expect to see a solid sweep of lupine blue on each side of one of my favorite woodland walking trails down by the river.
Recently I’ve seen another blue wildflower, too—Jacob’s ladder (below), so-called because of their ladder-like leaves. This is a plant that can do unbroken stretches of colour, too. There are places on my regular dog-walking trail around my subdivision where entire hillsides become blue with a low carpet of blooming Jacob’s ladder.
Soon there’ll be one more blue wildflower blooming in my perennial garden; I’ll show it to you when it’s here. And after these initial blue blossoms, the summer wildflower revue moves on to the pretty pinks.
Previous wildflower post:
Photos by Andrew Stark. Click on the images to see the original (and larger) photos.