Firstly, a big thankyou to John (alsoppdigitalart), Robin (graceland) and Christine (ChristineD) for their very welcome and encouraging User Awards on my pink Rhododendron Trio.
Some more rhododendrons, this time belonging to my neighbour. The round clusters tend to be dark at the bottom, so I used my flash.
When I worked for the Forestry Commission in the New Forest, the wild rhododendrons were being removed, much to the astonishment of many who enjoyed the ornamental trails and displays of these enormous clusters of mauve flowers. The reason was that they were a non-native and invasive species that needed to be controlled, but the FC did appreciate the social impact of clearance operations from locations regularly visited by groups to view the rhododendrons in flower.
Alien Species, Friend or Foe? Sad But True.
Few people who visit Britain's countryside when Rhododendron ponticum is in flower can comprehend the damage that has been caused to our native flora and fauna by this exotic Victorian introduction. The plant is responsible for the destruction of many native habitats throughout the British Isles and the reason for this is simple. Where conditions are suitable, it will out compete most native plants and will grow to many times the height of a person, allowing very little light to penetrate through its thick leaf canopy, effectively eliminating other competing native plant species which are unable to grow due to insufficient light. This in turn leads to the consequent loss of associated native animals.
Although the flowers are attractive, rhododendron has few other attributes that offset the negative impact it can have on a site that it invades.
The plant is notoriously difficult and expensive to actually kill. Areas can be restored but reinfestation must be prevented.
I discovered a book called "The Attack of the Killer Rhododendrons, My Obsessive Quest to Seek Out Alien Species"!!!
Flowers and plants
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