The North Shore offers visitors many unique experiences during the summer months. One of them is the experience of seeing Lupine in full bloom. If you haven’t been to the North Shore in the summer months to see these beautiful purple flowers fill open fields and roadside ditches, you should strongly consider it. The sight is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

The Lupine plant belongs to the legume family. In other words, it’s related to peas! It is a distinct flower that displays beautiful purple, pink and sometimes even white colors during its blooming season, drawing spectators from all over the country. It is a cool weather plant that dies down from summer heat and some years may not even put up a stem if the temperatures are too warm. Unlike other areas of Minnesota, the North Shore typically does not see temperatures high enough to deter the plants from growing. The plant prefers well-drained, sandy soils that are fully exposed to the sun. Although there are hundreds of kinds of Lupine throughout the world, Large-Leaved Lupine and Wild Lupine are most commonly found in northeast Minnesota.

The flower itself has an upper and lower portion that is typically blue or purple. When looking at the plant closely, you’ll notice that the upper and lower parts of the pea-like flower have dark veins that are forcibly opened by insects to reach their horn-shaped stamen. The plants typically stand between eight and eighteen inches and are most enjoyable in June and July. Usually growing in bunches, these flowers easily catch your eye and stand out from the green brush that typically surrounds them.