Untouched meadows and grasslands of Patagonia transform with the arrival of spring, revealing the striking purple and pink flowers. Blooming lupins are one of the most glorious signs of nature's revival in the region. The blooming fields are particularly impressive in the area of Carretera Austral highway in Chilean Patagonia and especially in Torres del Paine National Park.
Lupin is a perennial herbaceous plant of different colours that can grow up to 1.5 m in height. The blooming season usually runs in late spring, roughly in November, depending on the weather conditions.
Seeds of various species of lupin have been consumed throughout the Mediterranean region and the Andean mountains for over 3,000 years. The seeds of lupin resemble beans. Lupinus mutabilis known locally as 'tarwi' or 'chocho' was extensively cultivated in the Andes until the Spanish invasion. Indigenous people soaked the seed in salted water to remove bitterness and then cooked the seeds to make them edible. Over the last decades, the lupin cultivation has been gaining back its popularity in Chile.