Lupine Lovers Outraged

Sometimes I say things in my blog that I don’t actually expect people to do. I want to apologize to the family who allowed their daughter to eat lupine seeds and ended up in the hospital.  I had know idea they were that toxic. I am joking, no one ended up in the hospital but as with anything you read on the web you should do your own investigation to be on the safe side. There are different types of lupines just as there are different types of mushrooms so do your research before eating them.

I have done research on lupines and I do know for a fact they are an invasive species in Northern Minnesota. The word invasive when dealing with plants implies that it is not native to the area. By saying non-native invasive species it is a little bit redundant but emphasizes the fact lupines are not originally from this area and they cause problems.

According to the National Park Service, “Invasive species threaten our environment in a very powerful way because they can alter the ecosystems and landscapes we seek to protect. Invasive species are “a non-native species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human, animal, or plant health” (Executive Order 13112, 1999). Invasive species aggressively compete with native species and are often the victor of the battle. In some cases, one invasive species can outcompete many native species thus reducing biodiversity.”

How do I know lupines are an invasive species? It says so on our Cook County Invasive Species website and I trust the names associated with this page. If you are questioning how this beautiful flower can be so bad then I recommend you contact one of the folks at the bottom of this page for more information.

Apparently the President of our Area cabin owners association has received 3 phone calls just this week about me sending groups of people out to pick all of the lupines on our road. I wish I had the time or person power to organize an event but in reality I have other projects that take priority. I have lupines on my own property that I am dealing with and dealt with last fall.  Our invasive species specialist came up last fall to help our youth group dig out lupine roots that run very deep and are very difficult to get out of the earth.

One thing I read recently is that bears like to eat lupine roots.  This makes me happy and hopeful as I have been wondering how to feed the bears for some time. Maybe I can pull out the lupines on my property and place their roots on top of the dumpster and the bears will be satisfied enough to leave our garbage alone? Maybe the bears will figure out how good they are to eat and they will eat all of the lupines on the Gunflint Trail! Wouldn’t that be wonderful…Lupines in Murren by Senti-



Invasive Team

Angelique Edgerton
Invasive Species Coordinator
USFS Gunflint Ranger Station
2020 West Hwy. 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604
(218) 387-3772

Dave Betts
Cook County Agriculture Inspector
609 East 4th Avenue
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Jack Greenlee
Plant Ecologist
Superior National Forest
Laurentian Ranger District
318 Forestry Rd.
Aurora, MN 55705
(218) 229-8817

Leave a Reply