Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lupine Seed Collecting

TNC Ohio hosted a volunteer lupine seed collecting day this past weekend at Kitty Todd Nature Preserve, a very neat place worth much more exploring.  We traveled up to the Toledo area for this event, Steve working and Jennifer volunteering, which for us proved a great way to help nature and celebrate the solstice.  Our primary goal was to help collect lupine seed.  Lupines are the food source for larval Karner Blue butterflies, an endangered species that was reintroduced into this area in 1998.  

 First, we gathered at the office and learned the proper way to collect lupine seeds, then we headed out into the field with our collecting buckets to look for lupines.


Once we found a plant we looked for dried seed pods and collected about 1/2 of the pods and put them in our collecting bucket. 

The dried pods twist open when fully dried and release the seeds into the surrounding landscape.  We looked for pods that weren't open yet with seeds still inside.  TNC will then use these seeds to establish new lupine communities on the Kitty Todd property.


Water often gets trapped in the lupine leaves making these little water lupine diamonds - so cool!

All kinds of other cool wildlife called the lupine dunes home too: 


A weevil and mating plant bugs...

Another type of plant bug...

Great Spangled Fritillary...

Prickly Pear Cactus...

Some kind of meadowhawk?

A diverse dune community...
Happy Summer!


  1. Great photos! Looks like a good amount of people helped out.

  2. Thank you. Was looking for info on collecting lupine seeds and through using an image search, found your great photos

    Not much here about best practices for seed collection though

    Should you wait till they're dry? Should you only collect half? I'm thinking you did that so some seeds might spread right there where it was planted

    So many more queations

    1. Hey Rob! Thanks for stopping over to our blog. We aren't experts on lupine seed collecting, but we do know the seeds must be mature, the pods need to be dry (good indicator of mature seeds as well) and you should never harvest all the seeds. We would leave half for sure. Also, make sure to collect somewhere it's allowed. :)


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