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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hiking Windy Hill:Glorious Royal Purple Lupine

Windy Hill Arroyo Lupine
I identify with the Lupine Lady, Miss Rumphius, when it comes to lupines. I'd like to carpet the world with their glorious purples and blues. In addition to the Arroyo Lupine I saw hiking Windy Hill yesterday, I'm partial to the big silver-foliaged bush lupines, and miniature bi-color lupines with their little white throats.

If you not acquainted with  Miss Rumphius, I recommend her highly. Like many nature lovers, she wanted to preserve the wildflowers that once thrived before people crowded in. She did it by distributing seed. I haven't had a ton of luck when it comes to getting lupines established in my yard, even though it's supposed to be conducive to my heavy clay soil. I've also read that it's a natural when it comes to discouraging foraging deer. My neighborhood is too surburban for that to be a problem, but I live pretty close to people who do have issues with losing their yard crops to our local mule deer.

Before the Spaniards arrived in California, local folks ate lupine seed, though you needed to know what you were doing to remove the toxins. It makes sense that they are edible, once properly processed, since they are legumes - just like peanuts and other beans.

I'm not interested in snacking on them, just enjoying their brilliant royal purple robes every spring. The draw of Lupines in flower, is one of the things that keep me hiking California.

Also On my Flower-Lovin' Hiker's Bookshelf

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