Back in April, our rhododendrons were putting on a show. Their explosion of color soothed our eyes, tired after a long winter.
We have several rhododendron bushes around the yard, mostly purple, my favorite color.
Our neighborhood has many of these flowers, too. My eyes feast on them as I take my morning walks.
They finished showing off for the year though. The leathery leaves will stay with us through the winter, but the flowers are gone for now.
Here are four facts on rhododendrons:
1. Rhododendron means “rose tree” in Greek.
2. It’s an evergreen.
3. Its wood is poisonous. Animals stay away from it. So should people. I have some friends who camped a few years ago and burned rhododendron wood. The smoke made them so sick, they thought they were going to die.
4. The rhododendron leaves will tell you how cold it is outside. The more folded into themselves they are, the colder it is. No need to spend money on an outside thermometer if you have a rhododendron bush outside your window.
And there you have it, a quick nature study on rhododendrons.