Mariton: Rhododendrons are in Bloom
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
Mariton’s Rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum) are blooming right now. These are the native Rhododendron. If you are only familiar with Rhododendrons in people’s yards, you owe it to yourself to see what inspired people to tinker with what Nature had already made so simply beautiful.
Usually this tree/shrub blooms between Father’s Day and Independence Day. These seem a little late this year, so there should still be fresh blooms next weekend. Notice the deep pink of the buds just before they open. Take a very close look, and you will see the green dots on the top petal of each beautiful flower.
This is a particularly good year for the blooms. There are lots to see. I suggest you walk out the Main Trail. If you are energetic, it is worth the walk down the River Lookout Trail (you will have to walk back up). That gives one a good look as you walk through a tunnel of Rhododendrons. While there, look for them on the adjacent hillside.