Mount Saint Helen Survivor: Prairie Lupine

Mount Saint Helen Survivor: Prairie Lupine
  • Binomial Name: Lupinus Lepidus
  • Soil Type: Well drained, Rocky
  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Plant Type:
  • Perennial, Mat forming
  • Foliage: Palmately compound leaves
  • Flower: Blue/Purplish
  • Fruit: Hairy legumes

Brave in the aftermath of destruction, the prairie lupine was the first plant species to reestablish itself in the blast zone north of Mount Saint Helens after the 1980 eruption. This native herbaceous perennial forms matted shrubs up to 12 inches tall and grows best in rocky, well-drained soil under full sun exposure.

Collected by the famed explorer David Douglas in 1826, prairie lupine begins flowering in their second year of growth and generally live up to five years of age. To observe these plants in the wild, hike the Boundary and Truman trails out of the Johnston Ridge Observatory in SW Washington

By the City Landscape and Urban Forestry Department

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