Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

Ericaceae

Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

Big bushes with large, leathery evergreen leaves and ball-like clusters of white or pinkish flowers, these ancestors of garden Rhododendrons are unmistakable. The only thing that resembles them at all is the Mountain Laurel, whose leaves and flowers are much smaller.

The flowers are white, often blushed with pink, especially when they are young. The upper petal is marked with greenish-yellow spots.

Rhododendron can grow in deep shade, although it seems to bloom more prolifically in the sun. These were growing in the woods along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel, where they were blooming at the end of June.

Gray describes the genus and the species, which he places in the Eurhododendron or Rhododendron-proper section of the genus.

RHODODÉNDRON L. Calyx mostly small or minute. Stamens sometimes as few as the corolla-lobes, more commonly twice as many, usually declined; anther-cells opening by a round terminal pore. Capsule 5-celled, 5-valved, many-seeded. Seeds scale-like.— Shrubs or small trees, of diverse habit and character, with chiefly alternate entire leaves, and large and showy flowers in umbeled clusters from terminal buds. (Rhododendron, rose-tree; the ancient name.)

EURHODODÉNDRON DC. Leaves coriaceous and persistent; stamens (commonly 10) and style rarely exserted, somewhat declined, or sometimes equally spreading.

R. máximum L. (GREAT LAUREL.) Shrub or tree, 2-10 m. high; leaves 0.8-2 dm. long, very thick, elliptical-oblong, or lance-oblong, acute, narrowed toward the base, very smooth, with somewhat revolute margins; pedicels viscid, corolla bell-shaped, 3.5-5 cm. broad, pale rose-color or nearly white, greenish in the throat on the upper side, and spotted with yellow or reddish. — Damp deep woods, rare from N. S., Me., and Que. to Ont. and O., but very common through the Alleghenies from N. Y. to Ga. June, July.

Advertisements

Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

Rhododendron-maximum-2013-07-12-Fox-Chapel-01

Big bushes with large, leathery evergreen leaves and ball-like clusters of white flowers, these ancestors of garden Rhododendrons are unmistakable. The only thing that resembles them at all is the Mountain Laurel, whose leaves and flowers are much smaller.

The flowers are white, often blushed with pink, especially when they are young. The upper petal is marked with greenish-yellow spots.

Rhododendron can grow in deep shade, although it seems to bloom more prolifically in the sun. These were growing in the woods along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel, where they were blooming in the middle of July.

Gray describes the genus and the species, which he places in the Eurhododendron or Rhododendron-proper section of the genus.

RHODODÉNDRON L. Calyx mostly small or minute. Stamens sometimes as few as the corolla-lobes, more commonly twice as many, usually declined; anther-cells opening by a round terminal pore. Capsule 5-celled, 5-valved, many-seeded. Seeds scale-like.— Shrubs or small trees, of diverse habit and character, with chiefly alternate entire leaves, and large and showy flowers in umbeled clusters from terminal buds. (Rhododendron, rose-tree; the ancient name.)

EURHODODÉNDRON DC. Leaves coriaceous and persistent; stamens (commonly 10) and style rarely exserted, somewhat declined, or sometimes equally spreading.

R. máximum L. (GREAT LAUREL.) Shrub or tree, 2-10 m. high; leaves 0.8-2 dm. long, very thick, elliptical-oblong, or lance-oblong, acute, narrowed toward the base, very smooth, with somewhat revolute margins; pedicels viscid, corolla bell-shaped, 3.5-5 cm. broad, pale rose-color or nearly white, greenish in the throat on the upper side, and spotted with yellow or reddish. — Damp deep woods, rare from N. S., Me., and Que. to Ont. and O., but very common through the Alleghenies from N. Y. to Ga. June, July.


Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora)

Monotropa-uniflora-2013-07-29-Frick-Park-01As they age (which happens very quickly), the dangling bells of these peculiar plants turn more and more upward; eventually, when they go to seed, they will be completely vertical. These plants were found deep in the woods in Frick Park in late July. A picture of a different plant in an earlier stage is here, and we repeat our remarks:

Indian Pipes are strange little plants that have no chlorophyll. They get their food by theft: they steal it from little fungi in a process called myco-heterotrophy. It was formerly believed that they were saprophytes, gaining their nutrition by breaking down decaying matter, but apparently they find it more convenient to employ fungi to do the hard work. Since they have no chlorophyll, they have no particular need for light; and they are often found deep in the woods.

Gray describes the genus and the species,which he puts in the section Eumonotropa or Monotropa proper:

MONÓTROPA L. INDIAN PIPE, PINESAP. Calyx of 2-5 lanceolate bract-like scales, deciduous. Corolla of erect spatulate or wedge-shaped scale-like petals, which are gibbous or saccate at the base, and tardily deciduous. Stamens 8 or 10; filaments awl-shaped; anthers becoming 1-celled. Style columnar; stigma disk-like, 4-5-rayed. Capsule ovoid, 8-10-grooved, 4-5-celled, loculicidal; the very thick placentae covered with innumerable minute seeds, which have a very loose coat. — Low and fleshy herbs, tawny, reddish, or white, parasitic on roots, or growing on decomposing vegetable matter; the clustered stems springing from a ball of matted fibrous rootlets, furnished with scales or bracts in place of leaves, 1-several-flowered; the summit at first nodding, in fruit erect. (Name composed of monos, one, and tropos, turn, the summit of the stem being turned to one side.)

§ 1. EUMONÓTROPA Gray. Plant inodorous, 1-flowered; calyx of 2-4 irregular scales or bracts; anthers transverse, opening equally by 2 chinks; style short and thick.

M. uniflora L. (Indian Pipe, Corpse Plant.) Smooth, waxy-white, flesh-color, or rarely deep red, turning blackish in drying. 0.6-3 dm. high; stigma naked. — Dark and rich woods, nearly throughout the continent. June-Aug. (Мех., Asia.)