rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16

Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 22, 2016

Although there are a few blooms left here and there (look above eye level along the path), most of the blossoms in the Rhododendron State Park grove are past and gone. A number of the dropped flowers can now be seen on the ground.

rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
Petal fall

It seems that the warm temperatures and dry conditions may have sped up an already early bloom this year. Is this a trend (it was a bit early last year as well)? Two years in a row is not the least bit conclusive in my book, but it certainly bears observing.

rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
Some blossoms are past, some are still out
rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
Some blossoms are past, some are still out
rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
A late bloomer

I have included several photos of leaf damage that commonly occurs in the grove, although there is one that is conspicuously absent this year (perhaps because of the current dry spell) that I have seen in the past-a roundish white fleshy growth on the end of a new leaf that is most likely a gall (formed usually when an insect lays an egg on the plant and causes a sort of deformity through hormonal changes-as it turns out, most plants play host to such a thing, and only a few really suffer for it).

Leaf curling from dry weather
Leaf curling from dry weather
Leaf curling from damage to leaf spine-likely caused by an insect
Leaf curling from damage to leaf spine-likely caused by an insect
Leaf damage caused from being eaten-perhaps by another sort of insect-yet another mystery
Leaf damage caused from being eaten-perhaps by another sort of insect-yet another mystery

As usual, I seem to be digressing – the damage shown today is from three different sources: mechanical damage from too much brushing against, mechanical damage from loss of juices likely caused by an insect, and curling of the new leafy growth likely from a lack of moisture. Since leaves are so numerous, this also means that they are expendable. Leaves, as you may know, tend to come and go a bit, even on evergreens. It is nothing to worry about.

rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
One of the few places of many blooms this year
rhododendron bloom report: 7/22/16
A close up view of a fading cluster of flowers

Even with the dry conditions, the grove tends to be a buggy place, so be prepared-it seems to be deer flies this week-a hat is good.

Until next time,

Ted Lenk

Monadnock State Park Staff

 

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Ted Lenk

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

One thought on “Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 22, 2016

  1. My friend and I visited the park last week (3rd wk of July) we did not expect there to be blossums. It was a pleasant walk atround the loop and we will be back next July to see the blooms. However, we were both wondering how the park come about. Could you give us some information or direct us on where to obtain information. I noticed old stone walls, which means to me that the land was once cleared for farming. Could this be true? There were two mothers there with their children having a picnic, a wonderful place to take children for an outing in the woods. Thank you for the park we will spread the word and visit again. I am from western NY and love the Mountain Laurel, in PA there were Laurel Festivals every year since it is the state flower.

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