Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 24, 2020

Hi folks-
The picture says it all, eh? The Rhododendron maximus flowers are all gone for this season. As it was, they started a bit early this year-a week or so sooner than was expected. Perhaps that will become the norm (the bloom was early last year too). Or not. The future is often hard to predict.
There are, however, other wildflowers to be seen at the grove this week or next, two of which are fairly distintive, and both happen to be in the orchis family. Nothing really showy, but orchids just the same.

Pictured below is “Epipactis helleborine” a.k.a. Broad Leaved Helleborine and Goodyera pubescens a.k.a. Downy Rattlesnake Plantain.

E. helleborine: is an exotic plant. It is rather weedy and spreads by seed, but at least in the Rhododendron grove in Fitzwilliam, N.H., it does not seem to be invasive (yet).

G. pubescens: is native, and although it is known as one of the more common orchids in the northeastern U.S., it is not found everywhere.

This will be my last posting of the season. Look for next year’s series to start in late June 2021.

The bloom season is over!
Broad Leaved Hellborine-exotic but not terribly invasive here. Actual size of flowers is not much more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain-distintive patterning on the leaves. These will be blooming by next weekend.
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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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