Happening on the Ground

May 22, 2019

What's going on in May?

By Joel Hecht, Stewardship Director

May is the month of change in nature and in the Pine Bush.  Everything that looked dead all winter starts to come alive again. In the Pine Bush the wild blue lupine is one of the first wildflowers to push through the sand, even before the last frost of winter. Lupine is perennial, is the only plant Karner blue butterfly larvae will eat, and will be found growing in the same place year after year as long as it has not been shaded out by other larger plants.

Each spring we add more lupine plants to the preserve in habitat restoration sites such as the one on Curry Road where the forest was recently thinned. Seeds are planted using an agricultural planting machine and will sprout rapidly if there is enough moisture. A long taproot quickly develops so when the hot dry days of summer soon arrive, the lupine plant will be able to get water from further below the surface and survive. Some lupine plants will bloom in the early fall of the year planted but most will not bloom until their second year.

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