A Very Brief History Of The Lupinus Polyphyllus

Lupinus Polyphyllus Buy 

We can thank horticulturist and Yorkshireman George Russell for the wonderful range of colours we see in today’s Lupins. However, the story starts further back with a Scottish botanist called David Douglas. After being recommended by London’s Royal Horticultural Society, Douglas went on a plant-hunting expedition in the Pacific Northwest in 1824. Two years later, when returned home, he brought with him many new species of plants, which included the predominantly blue and white Lupinus Polyphyllus (or Lupin).

Then, in 1911 at the Coronation of King George V, George decided he didn’t particularly like the blue and white coloured Lupins that were on display. So, he spent the next twenty six years of his life collecting and crossing different Lupin to develop a more colourful species that was exhibited for the first time at the Chelsea flower show in 1936. This new species would become known as the Russell Lupin and was exported all over the world.

Burkes Pass

Burkes Pass – Buy 

I was heading for Lake Pukaki, a large alpine lake on the northern edge of the MacKenzie Basin near the township of Tekapo. On the way, I passed through Burkes Pass, named after Dublin University graduate Michael John Burke who drove a team of bullocks through the passageway which leads up into the Mackenzie Country in 1855.

The Legend of Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

One of the legends of Lake Tekapo is that it was dug out by explorer Rākaihautū with his digging stick called Tūwhakaroria. After arriving in Nelson, Rākaihautū split his people into two groups. Rākaihautū led his group down the middle of the South Island, digging the freshwater lakes of South Island as he went. His son, Rakihouia, led the other group down the east coast of the South Island.