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By Ted Lenk

As is often the case,  there are more blooms to be seen on the cluster of bushes next to the Patch Cottage (before you get to the grove itself) than most anywhere in the grove, and most of those flowers may have fallen to the ground by the end of this coming weekend. But there are still many flowers in their full splendor as I write this on Wednesday 7/12. With this hot weather that is typical of July, things tend to happen in a hurry in the plant world, and the rhododendrons are no exception.

rhododendron state park blooms
Typical for this week-almost done, but still quite pretty.

It has not been exactly too dry, so the grove at least feels a bit cooler than the surrounding area. You would think that with all the moisture, it may count for something. Maybe. A good flowerbud set for next year? We’ll see.

Rhododendron blooms
By the bridge about halfway around the Rhodo Loop.

If you look carefully and closely when you are there, you might notice that some (not all) of the blooms are white with no pink in the background. While it is true that most of the pink color (typically found) in an R. maximus flower will fade away as that flower matures, you will find some that will keep a bit of their pink color until they are spent, while other flowers are “born” white and never have any pink at all. Why is this?. Mystery. Genetics, environmental conditions?

Rhododendron bloom close to the end.
Bloom pretty much spent with the flowers falling to the ground.
Rhododendron bloom.
Can you see any pink in this one? Maybe not.

The inner reproductive parts are pinkish on all the rhododendron flowers found at the grove. Not the outside, though. Mostly yes, but not always. Especially now, towards the end of the flowering season. 

As always, it is buggy at the grove, so come prepared.

Until next time,

Ted Lenk

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