Although a few blooms here and there can be seen in the grove, the main “event” of flowers blooming has slipped by us once again. There are several places along the trail where a bush has numerous blooms that are just now reaching fullness, but most of the flower petals from the past week’s blooms have fallen to the ground. The hot temperatures we felt earlier this week may have hastened the demise of the remaining flowers from the unexpectedly early bloom of 2015. Why was the bloom early this year? At the risk of being once again abundantly redundant, I will repeat one of my classic phrases: it’s a mystery.
There are always reasons to visit Rhododendron State Park besides the flower “show”-all sorts of animals and their signs tracks, scat, fur, etc.)to see, birdsongs to hear, mushrooms when they have not been picked and removed by somebody before we get the chance to see them. The plant community at the grove is a fairly large list that of course includes exotic as well as native plants.
The rhododendrons themselves are quite a show with or without flowers-taller and with larger leaves, this evergreen plant is very different from the nursery propagated hybrids that most of us are familiar with. They are very shade tolerant-they do not need full sun to form flowers and by nature will not generally bloom as profusely as the typical hybrid plants that are commonly found in designed landscapes. I have seen claims about Rhododendron maximum reaching a height of forty feet. Without having gone off the trails at the grove in Fitzwilliam, the tallest bushes I have seen there reach maybe twenty five to thirty feet. They are indeed truly beautiful plants.
Until next time,
Monadnock State Park
P.O. Box 181
Jaffrey, NH 03452
603 532 8862