It’s been a cold and foggy spring by the shores of Lake Superior. That’s been tough on vegetable gardens and bike stores. But it’s been great for at least one perfect North Shore wildflower. A flower that NEEDS the cold. It NEEDS the fog.
If you NEED some inspiration to get out and explore the foggy North Shore, look no farther than the tall lungwort, a.k.a. northern bluebells.
Tall lungwort (Mertensia paniculata) is found all around the cool, moist shores of Lake Superior…and nowhere else in the eastern United States. The only other place it’s found in the US is in the western states, on the cooler, wetter sides of the mountains there.
Ecologists call these North Shore flowers a “disjunct” population, separated from the main group. Lake Superior provides not only the cool air but also the moisture. If you’re a fan of The West and mountains, here’s a bit of the western Rocky Mountains right here for you.
It seems like every other wildflower on the North Shore is running at least a week late in the blooming calendar. Not this flower; it’s right on time.
Imagine those first little green growths of lungwort emerging from the damp North Shore soil, sensing cold and fog and saying, in its little plant voice, “PERFECT! Let’s grow.”
Inspired? Might as well make the best of this North Shore fog and cold, just like this flower does. Poke your head out the door and into the fog and just say, “PERFECT!”
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