Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) is proud to present its first spring seed gathering event. We ask the public to help us gather seeds for the silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons), a beautiful California native that is an important food source for butterflies and other wildlife. In areas where development and/or cattle have reduced lupine populations, butterflies have also become more scarce.
As many of you know, Dry Creek Preserve is 152-acre former gravel quarry located just northwest of Lemon Cove. SRT has been replanting the preserve with native grasses, shrubs, trees and flowering plants, but we need lupine seeds to help the beautiful purple flower and native habitat flourish to its fullest potential. We will also be planting lupine at Blue Oak Ranch in Springville and Lewis Hill Preserve in Porterville.
We will award an embroidered button-down SRT shirt to the person or persons who collect the most seed (measured by weight). Please gather seeds from the Three Rivers, Springville and Porterville areas (observing all laws regarding property rights – no fence-jumping, please) and make careful notes of the seeds’ place of origin (we will only replant seeds within 10 miles of where they were gathered so as not to affect local gene pools). Look for the flowers to go to seed sometime in late March. The blue flowers will fade and give way to a green seed pod, but they’re not quite ready. When the green pods turn brown, then they’re ready to be harvested. Please leave a few seeds on each plant so that local populations can re-seed themselves!
The window of opportunity for seed gathering is brief, so stay on the look-out. Monitoring lupine is a great excuse to pay more attention to nature and its marvelous cycles.
Please, no store-bought seeds.
We will propagate the fragile lupine seeds at our nursery, then replant as needed at the preserves, for the benefit of many species of wildlife. Any plants left over will be made available to the public at our fall plant sale.
Happy seed gathering!
Also, stay tuned to poppy seed gathering details, coming up next month.