Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 1, 2020

Hi folks-
It seems that the hot dry weather we had towards the end of June has hastened the bloom timing. Although the middle of July will still have plenty of open flowers to see, there is currently a pretty good show going on. Of course, it is all relative-the amount of flowers to be seen this season is certainly smaller than last year’s show. As usual, the timing of the blooms is spread out over 3-5 weeks-it is never all at once, as you might expect from the hybrid that are planted all around (these are native plants that were not introduced by humans). As you can see in some of the pictures below-all taken on Thursday 7/1-there are a few different stages of bloom timing. Although this is expected here in the grove, it seems to be protracted this year.

At last we got some much needed rain. Of course, this helps, but since it was so dry during June, we have a long way to go. 3-4 days of soaking rain (not the typical sporadic downpours of July thunderstorms) would be a good start. However, there are still some places in the grove where you can see new leaves that are curled, likely from a lack of moisture.
Remember, folks- it can be very buggy at the grove, so come prepared!
Until next week, Ted Lenk

This may be seen as false advertising-more flowers per sq.ft. than most of the rest of the grove.
An “early” full bloom. Not the only one, but still early.
Way too early, and past it.
This cluster is just past peak.
This one is just starting to come out.
Although enlarged, these flower buds will not be early this year.
New leaves from this year’s growth are not stunted, but they curl up in response to dry conditions. We need more rain!
Spent and fallen flowers-a spectre of things to come, but honestly, it is not too late to see a good show.

Ted Lenk

Ted Lenk is an NH State Park Volunteer who checks in regularly at Rhododendron State Park.

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