Flower spikes rise up while the tangled roots reach down, creating beauty.
We are heading into the hot white sands of the Florida scrub for another rare and endangered species. This week we will look at the Scrub Lupine, Lupinus westianus var. aridorum that grows naturally in declining populations in three panhandle counties. Most of the existing populations are on private property that is destined for development.
Scrub Lupine is a shrubby biennial with multiple erect stems that grow to a height of three feet. Leaves have an oval like shape with a pointed tip. The leaf margins are smooth and 1 to 4 inches in length. Silky hairs cover the stems and leaves giving the plant a silver hue. Scrub Lupine spreads horizontally forming a plant cluster up to six feet in diameter.
Pea-like flowers are arranged in a terminal spike at the tips of the stems. Flower colors are purple to pale blue with a bright red spot to attract flying insects.
This species is being cultivated at the Box Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. It is also cultivated at Archbold Biological Station outside of Lake Placid. It was at Archbold where I photographed the specimen in the picture.