Rhododendron arboreum var. Roseum

Most of us in the western world, and perhaps in particular in Europe, are familiar with the Rhododendrons in gardens and parks and think of them as some of many beautiful flowers in the spring. Me included.

But when you see them in the wild – where they have evolved throughout the aeons – you are simply awestruck! Their sheer size! Their incredible trunks – some twisted and winding. Some places they are dominating the landscape as forests!

The previous encounter this day was that of amazing bloom aglow in the morning sun rays high up in the steep slopes, but now I encountered a forest of them close to the road! I was so exited!

Finally I had the chance of getting to know at least one species up close. Check if they had a scent or not, and simply be with them and their energy.

As I started looking for a good specimen to photograph I noticed that there were in fact two distinctly colored varieties – one with a more pinkish hue than the others (this one), and one with a more reddish hue, and that to the fact that they all were in the same flowering stage. Could they be different in other ways than just visual?

It did not have any discernible scent.

As a child I picked flowers from the Lilac inflorescences to suck out the sweet nectar, and I still do this. So I picked a flower and sucked on the base of it and discovered the sweetest of nectar! Yum!!

No wonder there are so many magnificent nectar eating bird species up here!

So this one has no significant scent but amazing nectar! The other variance I will describe in an upcoming post.

Spring in Bhutan is just magical, and still it is early in the season! I encountered so many other species of Rhododendron still only with flower buds!

I must go back!

Elevation: 3052 meters

Native range is Himalaya.

Last updated on 21 June 2024