Rhododendron Bloom Report: July 29, 2021

Hi folks-

It is still worth a trip to Rhododendron State Park to see the blooming Rhodo’s this weekend. There are a good number of flowers still out, and even a few that are just now opening. The majority of this year’s flowers, however, are spent and fallen to the ground.

A few are just getting going
A few flowers are out
Most look like this
Flowers fallen to the ground

What will next year’s show be like? It is true that the flower buds for next year are actually being formed now, and if you go by the robust growth of this rainy cool summer, there is a lot to be said for next year’s bloom. Then again, any plant (especially those that grow in such poor acid and wet soil as is found in the grove) will need some R&R after blooming so much, as the grove has done this year. It takes a lot of energy to bloom, and it doesn’t happen every year as it was this year. So the chances are 50/50 as usual. Next year we will find out, eh? To gauge the potential bloom for next summer, wait until October to look at the amount of flower buds that can be found. This is only a guess, as some or most of the flower buds may not survive the winter. No prediction is safe.

Commonly sighted this week
At least 6 inches of growth on the stems
Will this be a flower bud? It is very stout.
A casualty of the dry spring of 2021-remember that? This is native orchid found at the grove called Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens, I think). By now, it would normally have a flower spike rising up from the base. There is none yet this year. Am I too early, or is it really the dry spring that did it? Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), another wildflower that is found at the grove and typically blooms in June, did not have any flowers this year.

Hope your winter goes well.
Ted Lenk

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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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