Monday, December 6, 2010


I started out to write about a very specific trait of rhododendrons - curling/rolling their leaves whenever the temperature falls much below 32 degrees. You can almost, at least here, tell when we get above freezing in the morning by looking at their leaves. These are only slightly curled; they can get into a much tighter roll as the temperature drops even more.

But there is so much to tell about rhododendrons, that I'm going to just spend a few days doing just that, now that I have a little more free time. It's too cold to work outside any more and I've finally finished all of the baskets and knitted hats and mittens that I hope to sell between now and Christmas.

I used to think that rhododendrons and azaleas were two very different plants. The flowers were similar, but, after all, they had totally different names. I now know that all azaleas are rhododendrons. Azaleas are either of the subgenus Pentanthera, the deciduous azaleas, or Tsustusti, usually evergreen. Now, by next year that might change as those in charge of such things seems to delight in confusing me, but as of now, that's where it stands.

Rhododendron (azalea) 'Satan'

Other traits of azaleas: they all have 5 lobes to their flowers and one stamen for each lobe. Rhododendrons have 2 stamens per lobe and the flowers on an azalea tend to be more tubular or funnel shaped.

Rhododendron PJM 'Olga Mezitt'

Lots more tomorrow with a bunch of other photos. Keep warm.

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