Wild Lupine Restoration Showing Signs of Success!

For the second year in a row, Nan Burke collected wild lupine seeds at the Desert Natural Area in an effort to save these important native plants. Photo by Don Burn.
Wild lupine. Photo by Ginny Hutchison

Volunteers Nan Burke and Don Burn are helping SVT and our partners rejuvenate wild lupine plants at the Desert Natural Area in Sudbury and Marlborough, which includes SVT’s Memorial Forest. Wild lupine is a native, yet uncommon, plant that provides food for pollinators and birds. Unfortunately, the sole population of plants at the Desert is threatened by the imminent construction of an Eversource underground utility line.

In Summer 2020, Nan collected seeds from those plants to store over the winter (see Saving the Wild Lupines). This past April, she and Don planted the seeds at two new locations in Memorial Forest, and by May 1, they spotted seedlings during a regular watering visit! In June, Nan and Don collected another batch of seeds from the original site (pictured) for planting in spring 2022.

Nan tells us that wild lupine plants don’t bloom until their second or third year, so we are eagerly watching the growth of the seedlings and hope to see their beautiful blooms next year. Stay tuned!