Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 25, 2017

Hey folks,

Although the main blooming event of 2017 is almost over, there are still plenty of flowers to be seen at the grove this week. Some of you may have seen in this posting from last week how I mentioned how unlikely it would be to get some cold rainy days in July? Well, Monday’s rain event shows how much I know – oh well. Unless we finish out the week with blistering hot weather (who knows?) the blossoms might just last a bit longer. In any case, there will be a good number of flowers to see this coming weekend. I would say that a visit to Rhododendron State Park is a good idea for the next week or so for those of you looking for flowers in bloom.

Profusion
A pinkish hue
Spent blossoms
Very late bloomers
A variation showing new and old flowers
Yet another closeup
No pink here
Newly opened flowers

And there are a few other plants to look for as well – nothing in particular that can’t be found in other deep dark moist woods. I have included just a few photos of the most easily seen ones – I really haven’t ever strayed more than five feet or so from the trail for all the pictures I take, so anything I see can be seen by anyone who is interested enough to look – the trick is to train your eyes, but don’t ask me how – perhaps it’s practice along with a burning (or in my case smoldering and about ready to catch fire) interest that gets me there.

“Hobblebush”-a white beacon in the woods in early May (Viburnum lantanoides)
Perhaps “New York Fern” (Thelypteris noveboracensis) – or not
“Partridgeberry” (Mitchella repens) – a common N.E. woodlands plant
A moss covered rock with “Bunchberry” (Cornus canadensis), “False violet” (Dalbardia repens) and “Dewberry” (Rubus flagellaris). Do you see others?
Club Mosses-“Princess Pine” (Lycopodium obscurum) and “Spike Moss” (Lycopodium annotinum)
“Wild Sarsaparilla” (Arailia nudicaulis) – a very common N.E. plant-actually a woody perennial
“Wintergreen” (Gaultheria procumbens) – a yummy but toxic red berry – Careful!

I have also included a small number of pictures to show some ways that the plants take damage – nothing alarming or new – I see no current threat to the grove – maybe some time in the future, but I will make no predictions here – there are too many variables.

A fallen tree-at first glance it looks unfortunate, but the bush will take root and grow where it has been pressed to the ground, resulting in an eventually larger bush, and the dead tree will provide nutrients for all.
Damage to tender young growth resulting in curled leaves-perhaps caused by aphids or mites sucking the sap from the underside of the young leaves as they are growing out.
Damage probably done on the young tender leaves, and probably done by a chewing insect or such.
Damage done again to young leaves probably by an insect or such-perhaps carrying a disease of some sort – how’s that for a definitive statement? Oh well…

Even though it’s not too buggy in my opinion, there are still enough biting insects that you may want to be prepared for them.

Until next week, Ted Lenk

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Ted Lenk

Ted Lenk is a Park Staffer at Monadnock State Park who also checks in regularly at Rhododendron State Park.

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