Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 2, 2015

It seems that we’ve had enough rain for a bit. Plants generally do better with more moisture, though. Rhododendrons, being in the heath family, have fine roots as opposed to a central taproot, so water storage in the plant is poor. Often, “wild” rhododendrons do better in a wet area, as is the case at Rhododendron State Park. The large amount of rainfall that this region received in June may have played a part in the early bloom of the 2015 season. Or maybe not. Plants are very mysterious and unpredictable.

Rhododendron Flower Bud Opening (7/2/15)
Rhododendron Flower Bud Opening (7/2/15)
Fully opened Rhododendron flower bud (7/2/15)
Fully opened Rhododendron flower bud (7/2/15)

Whatever the reason is, the blooms are ahead of our schedule (didn’t they read the rule book?) by a few days this year. If you don’t arrive until the end of July, you will still see some flowers just blooming, while others have finished. At the risk of contradicting myself (last week I mentioned the short spring this year), I will go out on a limb and predict a longer bloom period this season. Some spent flowers can now be seen occasionally on the ground, but the majority of the flower buds are still opening up. Ironically, there are a lot of blooms to be seen on the bush at the Old Patch House just as you are turning off Rhododendron Road towards the grove. This may be regarded as false advertising- the grove is not producing much more than 25 % of the potential bloom this year. But what a magical place. It is always lovely to see, hear and smell. There are not very many places nearby that can offer such a treat.

Rhododendron bloom opening (7/2/15)
Rhododendron bloom opening (7/2/15)
Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)
Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)
Bridge on Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)
Bridge on Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)

Although the biting bugs are mysteriously less numerous at the grove this week, they are still there-come prepared.

Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)
Rhododendron Trail (7/2/15)
Rhododendron blooms (7/2/15)
Rhododendron blooms (7/2/15)

Until next time,

Ted Lenk

Monadnock State Park
P.O. Box 181
Jaffrey, NH 03452
603 532 8862

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Ted Lenk

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

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