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Lupinus littoralis and Fragaria chiloensis

Lupinus littoralis and Fragaria chiloensis

A scene from six months ago, this display of seashore lupines and beach strawberries in Rose Spit Ecological Reserve was one of the botanical highlights of my trip to Haida Gwaii. More details about the trip can be read in a July entry on Carex macrocephala.

Fragaria chiloensis is found along the western coast of North America from Alaska to California, skips the tropical Pacific coast, and is found again on the coasts of Chile and Argentina. It can also be found in Hawai'i. Evidence points to a North American origin, with subsequent long-distance dispersal to South America and Hawai'i by birds. Lupinus littoralis has a narrower distribution, found only from British Columbia to California along the coast. One does wonder why it isn't found in Alaska, though, given that Alaska's Prince of Wales Island is only 60-70 km north of this location.

13 Comments

Marilyn Brown commented:

Lupine and strawberry -- peace and joy. Lovely choice for today.

michael aman commented:

Tell us about the third member of the photo. It looks like sweet woodruff.

clayton Oslund commented:

That is the lupine. It does resemble Sweet Woodruff.

Daniel Mosquin commented:

Yes, those are the leaves of this lupine.

michael aman commented:

Thanks, both of you. Mystery solved.

Ron B commented:

Maybe the island has a different geology than the adjacent Haida Gwaii and this acts as a barrier to the lupine.

Mike Crowley commented:

Perhaps someone can enlighten me... The word "lupine" means "of a wolf" or "wolf-like" so what is the wolf connection to this plant?

Pat commented:

Mike, the European lupin is very invasive. I have seen it suggested that it eats up land like a wolf.

drbob commented:

The Greeks and Romans observed that many lupines grew in soils of low fertility. Not knowing about nitrogen fixation, they reasoned that wolves (that made a habit of pilfering everything else) had stolen the soils fertility.

Merrill Jensen commented:

Yes, its very curious as to why this species doesn't make it across the Dixon Entrance. Would like to find some seed and see if it could be induced to grow in SE Alaska...

Nancy Fox commented:

I have introduced the lupinus littoralis into my mountain garden in a Blue Mountains NSW Australia and it does well and hasn't become invasive thus far. I am at 1000 metres on basalt. Lovely photo.

Joy Klein commented:

I know I am looking at this on 12/30/13 but I just have to say "thanks" to everyone who writes comments along with the photographers. I have learned so many things about plants! It's so fun! Thanks again to all of you and Happy New Year 2014!!!!

Daniel Mosquin commented:

Ted Kipping noted via email that I should have mentioned Fragaria chiloensis is named after the Chilean island of Chiloe (and not Chile itself), where it was first scientifically described from.

Comments are closed.

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