Once again the beautifully colourful Russell Lupines are starting to bloom in the Mackenzie.
The roadsides and unattended areas become covered in a thick carpet of this beautiful plant. The best bloom from mid-November until January and cover the country side and lake shore with a luxurious sea of colour.
Lupin Time tekapo Its Lupine Time Again !
Russell lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) is an exotic plant that can grow up to 1.5 metres. It is a perennial species; i.e. it flowers and sets seed in the summer, dies back to the stem base over winter, to re-emerge the following summer.
Russell lupines produce long, colourful flower heads. The flowers are pea-like and come in a variety of colours; blue, purple, orange, yellow, pink, white or a mixture of two colours.
The leaves, divided into green leaflets, are splayed out like fingers on a hand. Stout seedpods are produced that explode in the summer heat, releasing many dark brown seeds.
Although Russell lupines are beautiful to look at, they can be an aggressive weed. Of particular concern is the invasion of Russell lupines into Canterbury’s braided riverbeds, and the impacts they have on these ecosystems.
Around Tekapo they have become a tradition, drawing visitors from far and wide, so in the local area they are not been seen as a weed but rather an attraction to the many visitors to the area at this time of the year.