Russell lupines along Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand
© Jeffrey Lewis/Tandem Stills + Motio
A beautiful nuisance. Russell lupines, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
This scenic view is of Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand. The lake undergoes a remarkable transformation each year from mid-November to December, when vibrant Russell lupines burst into colour, elevating the natural beauty to new heights. The plants' blooming heads, made up of pea-like flowers, can reach up to 150 centimetres. While photographers and nature lovers come to witness the varied hues of purple, blue and yellow lupins spread wide across Lake Tekapo, the Russell lupines have a somewhat controversial story. These invasive, exotic plants grow in dense stands, boxing out other flora. While these plants might be appealing to tourists, they can create a negative imbalance in the region's ecosystem.