Rhododendron Bloom Report: August 14, 2017

Hey folks-

This will be the last “Bloom Report” of the 2017 season. Next season’s blog will start sometime towards the end of June 2018 (depending on the weather of course).

There were two or three unusually late blooms I could see from the trail a few days ago, but most everything else has “gone by” for the season.

Late bloomer

Plant life in general is beginning to slow down in August here in southern NH. The days are growing shorter and the sun is lowering in the sky, resulting in less available light. The leaves that make the all important food (for us too) are getting tired and worn out not to mention eaten or otherwise just gone. There are always exceptions in nature to any rule that humans make, though. Some plants are just now getting ready to bloom. Think of Monk’s Hood-Aconitum or Marsh Mallow-Althaea as two examples (both are widely used in gardens but can be found in the wild). Even the leaves of evergreens such as Rhododendrons and other taller trees are not as active as they were in May and June – indeed, there is an annual needle drop from the pines (only one example) in September.

Park entrance

If one were to look closely, next year’s embryonic leaf and flower buds can be seen. It’s easy to tell which are next years leaf buds, but not so easy to ID the flower buds. The secret is to taxonomic-ally differentiate between the two, and I haven’t gotten good enough at it yet to say what is what.

I was horrified to see that I omitted some important info last week-here it is: the photo of the Blackgum (a.k.a. Tupelo) did not include the botanical name of Nyssa sylvatica – sorry…

Remember to be prepared for lots of biting insects when you come out to the grove – even now it’s moist in the woods.

Until next year,

Ted Lenk

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Ted Lenk

Ted Lenk is a Park Staffer at Monadnock State Park who also checks in regularly at Rhododendron State Park.

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