|In High Park, June 2015 – a patch of spontaneously regenerated wild lupines (Lupinus perennis)|
I’ve seen wild lupines in Iceland and in Nova Scotia. But I had no idea that Ontario was also a habitat for this lovely legume (Lupinus perennis). Then we visited High Park this June with the Toronto Fling and learned how efforts to restore the native black oak savannah there is helping native wild lupines spontaneously regenerate. What better day to talk about this than Wildflower Wednesday!
Blue flowers get me right here (pounds heart) – how about you? To see them pushing their little blue heads up between the grasses made me very happy. We couldn’t get too close, not wanting to stomp on these gentle refugees. If you want to know more about them, or are wondering why lupines are named after wolves, skip over to this link on Wild lupines from the High Park Nature Centre.
|Wild lupines are one of the successes. The hope is that this small patch will continue to grow and expand. Watch where you step. And, please, don’t pick them! If you want to try growing your own, why not order seed through Wildflower Farm.|
|They use various techniques to get rid of the bad guys. Covering the ground with black plastic or tarp smothers or solarizes (which, basically, means “cooks”) the unwanted vegetation beneath. Still, as you can see, plants excel at finding the gaps.|
|Our bloggers wend their way past a giant oak tree to reach the fenced-off site where major restoration initiatives have begun, removing invaders, planting native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, and helping them become established.|
The “bittersweet” truth is that we often inadvertently introduce menaces into wild spaces, simply by making the wrong plant choices at home. Birds can spread bad seeds far and wee. Kellie talked about about the Invasive Plant Council’s excellent guide Grow Me Instead! which suggests safe alternatives.
Some plants we want to spread. Some, we don’t. I’m grateful for the efforts of all the people who help restore our lost native habitats and species. That could even be the efforts of you and me!