Purple Mountains Magesty

26 06 2013

As we drove across Iceland, we noticed the purple flowered lupine everywhere.  The flower looks at home in this landscape, but was actually introduced in 1945 to lowland areas in the southwest as a means to add nitrogen to the soil and also to function as an anchor for organic matter. Lupine has since flourished here, spreading to other regions like a wildfire, in almost effortless competition with the other species already in residence.While this all sounds highly beneficial to the cause of halting erosion and increasing the volume and quality of soil, the lupine patches tend not to share the arable tracts they create. Critics of this initiative view the flower as an invasive species that is threatening low-growing mosses and other native plants. Regardless of the plant’s ability to enhance or injure, lupine fields inflict a total transformation in plant composition and thus a significant transformation in the landscape.

The lupine has completely covered the hills around Husavik.

The lupine has completely covered the hills around Husavik.

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