This Experiment of Green


5 X 7 card with envelope. Blank inside.

Item No. EXP925

Story on the back of the card:

We are here. On a planet that formed an oxygen environment, thanks, in part, to its verdant scene. Plants perform so many functions—in addition to producing oxygen—that make life possible for others who share in this Earth experience. Some plants, such as lupine (Lupinus spp.)—the flower on the front of this card I photographed in the Columbia River Gorge, in Stevenson, Washington—improve environmental conditions after dramatic disturbances. In the blast zone after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, dwarf mountain lupine (Lupinus lyallii, also known as Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii) was among the first plant species to reappear.

Lupine has a special relationship with nitrogen-gathering bacteria that live in its roots. It can grow well where soil is nutrient poor. By growing in these areas, lupine fixes nitrogen in the soil, fertilizing it. This allows other plants to establish.