Mountain laurel in bloom

Rhododendron Bloom Report: June 24, 2016

As the cultivated rhododendrons in landscaped house gardens are fading for the season, the native “rose trees” at the rhododendron grove in Fitzwilliam, NH are still not ready to bloom. It may be another two weeks or so before they are fully in blossom. The temperature and rainfall usually have an effect on timing of the bloom, but it still can be unpredictable. At this point it looks as though “peak” bloom may be a few days early this year, but the middle of July is usually a safe bet.

Rhododendron path/tunnel
Rhododendron path/tunnel

Another shrub that can be seen at the grove is Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia). This bush is in bloom now and can be seen through next week (if the temperature does not soar)-certainly through the weekend. Ironically, the “Laurel Trail” has very few blooms-more can be see while touring the main “Rhododendron Loop” trail.

Mountain laurel in bloom
Mountain laurel in bloom

As shown in the photo, the flower buds of Rhododendron maximus are beginning to elongate slightly in anticipation of opening up for the bloom. They are still rather tight, however. No hint of color yet. At the risk of repeating myself, the weather may have an effect on the bloom time, but it is generally still a mystery.

Elongated Rhododendron flower bud-still tight but progressing towards bloom-no pink showing yet
Elongated Rhododendron flower bud-still tight but progressing towards bloom-no pink showing yet

The hot dry weather does show a visible effect on the leaf conditions-the young new leaves are vulnerable to wilting when they are exposed to the sun, and young new leaves in the shade are looking much better, as shown in the photos.
Even in this hot dry weather the mosquitos are thick enough . Be prepared.

wilted young leaves-too hot and dry and in the sun
wilted young leaves-too hot and dry and in the sun
what a difference the shade makes
what a difference the shade makes

Until next time,
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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