Named for Canis lupus, the wolf, because it was once blamed for robbing the soil of its fertility, Lupinus perennis grows in deep, droughty sand in the northwest third of Indiana.Not only is it showy and attractive, it is critically important as the only host for the larvae of the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.
Dense colonies of lupine are required to sustain the Karner Blue, but in the modern landscape sandy oak savannas and sand prairie remnants become shady oak woods all too soon due to fire suppression, and lupines often get shaded to death.
Photographed in Starke County, Indiana on a south-facing, dry sandy bank in the Kankakee River country, near the northwest 1/4 of the state.
"Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." Henry David Thoreau