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View Diary: Camino del Inca - The Many Faces of Machu Picchu (21 comments)

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  •  Okay, I really went to look it up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justintime, Aunt Pat

    I can find the plant:

    Rhododendron canadense is a very unusual native azalea species and was originally considered an entirely separate genus, Rhodora. The top three petals of the flower are fused together almost to the end to form a single lobe, whereas the bottom two are completely separate lips. The purplish pink blossoms are approximately 1.5 inches across and have 10 stamens, twice the number of most east coast natives. There are white forms of this species.

    First described by Linnaeus in 1762, R. canadenseis a low stoloniferous shrub that grows along stream banks and in swamps in eastern North America from Pennsylvania into Labrador. The most northern of the east coast native azaleas, the species is very cold hardy but a difficult plant where summers are hot and dry.

    How did it get there?
    •  I don't think it's R. canadense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rileycat, Aunt Pat

      Canadense has 10 stamens, corolla light reddish purple, occasionally white, two lipped, two lower lobes divided to the base; leaves elliptic oblong, grayish tomentulose (covered with densely matted, woolly hairs) beneath,
      1 1/2 - 2 1/2" long.

      Check these images for R. canadense:

      In your photo, the flowers are in panicles (along a stem) with flowers opening at the base of the panicle first and then proceeding to open sequentially up to the tip.  This is uncharacteristic of Genus Rhododendron.
      I don't think it's a rhododendron.  I'm a collector of species rhododendrons and have canadense in my garden.  Most likely it's a plant native to the region.

      I've long admired Machu Picchu and Incan stonework.
      I'll be looking for your next diary.

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