Keeping Purple on the Prairie

The 320-acre Mallonee dairy farm in southwest Washington has been in the family for four generations. Now, these private partners are aiding in the recovery of the threatened Kincaid's lupine, a showy, prairie-dependent species that is also a favorite host of the federally listed Fender's blue butterfly. Their organic pasture, home to Washington's largest concentration of the rare flower, represents the northernmost edge of its range. The cows of their active, working farm graze the competing grasses and avoid the lupines, allowing them to thrive.

Seeds gathered from the Mallonee farm will be used to assist outplanting in other areas. Through their voluntary conservation efforts, the family is supporting the survival of these species and part of the Pacific Northwest's heritage— with an impact well beyond the farm fence.

Story Tags

Farms and farming systems
Flowering plants