Mariton: Rhododendrons Blooming

June 30, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Rhododendron 6.30.14

Mariton’s Rhododendrons have started to bloom.  These are the native Rhododendron maximum, which has a white blossom with hints of pink and green as it ages.  The trees are blossoming a little later than usual – but that is not unusual this year when everything seems to be a week or two late.  I don’t think this is going to be a year when every tree is covered in blossoms.  Still, I think that there will be plenty of blossoms in the woods.  If you don’t mind walking back up the hill, the River Lookout is an excellent place to see them in their glory.  Along the Main Trail is a good place to view the Rhododendrons without dealing with the hill.

The flowers are beautiful, but take some time to observe the entire package.  You will see that many of these trees are huge (as Rhododendrons go) and very old.  Their graceful arching form is another thing to admire.  Finally, because Rhododendrons are evergreen, you should be able to notice some leaves that are changing.  What we think of as autumn in deciduous trees happens throughout the year in evergreens (whether they have needles or leaves).