Another view of rhodos "perking up" after a bit of rain

Rhododendron Bloom Report: August 5, 2016

Welcome to this year’s last posting of the Rhododendron State Park bloom report:

Last week I posted a fuzzy picture of  an orchid (Epipactis helleborine – an exotic plant but not terribly invasive) currently in bloom at the grove. I took a much better quality photo this week. A close-up view reveals a pretty flower, but this orchid is generally considered to not to be “showy” (most likely because of its small size and lack of bright colors).

A clearer picture of Epipactis helleborine
A clearer picture of Epipactis helleborine

Also last week I posted a few photos of some rhodo leaves in very dry weather. A day after I took those photos, we got some badly needed rain ( although not nearly enough to “catch up”). The curled leaves are once again open-who knows for how long? Perhaps August 2016 will prove to be rainy enough – it wouldn’t be a surprise either way-wet or dry-at this point.

An example of how rhodos respond to a bit of moisture
An example of how rhodos respond to a bit of moisture
Another view of rhodos "perking up" after a bit of rain
Another view of rhodos “perking up” after a bit of rain
"Perking up" even in a sunny spot after some rain
“Perking up” even in a sunny spot after some rain

Although not many people have asked about the “tunnels” created by the rhodos (above ground and seen along the trail), here is an explanation for how they came to be:

When a trail is cut anywhere there is more light that can reach to the ground. When any sun-dependent plant is exposed to more light, it will lean and grow toward it ( phototropism). Plants on both sides of any cut trail will respond in a similar way, eventually forming an arch or “tunnel effect” – the only motive is competition for light.  The result, however, is quite a sight, and seems rather “magical.”

The "tunnel" effect
The “tunnel” effect
Another "tunnel" in the grove
Another “tunnel” in the grove

Look for new postings of the “Bloom Report” in mid to late June of 2017.

I hope your winter goes well…
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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