Our reluctant shrub bursts forth

Jan and I have a glossy green-leaved shrub in a blue ceramic planter on the front steps of our home in Daglan, and we had been getting pretty tired of waiting for it to bloom. But now it’s truly burst forth, and the result is spectacular.

For background, here’s an excerpt from a Radio Free Daglan posting on March 23 of this year, in which I had a section that I called “A slow learner”:

Quite some months ago, my wife Jan bought a lovely rhododendron plant to place on the steps leading up to our house. Its leaves were glossy, it was covered with buds, and the buds looked like they were ready to burst into bloom.

So that was in late March, and by then the rhododendron had been in place for several months — with lots of buds, but no flowers. Here’s how it looked:

Lots of buds, but no flowers — yet.

And then, a week or so ago, we started to spot the first real signs of flowering life. However, it was hard to imagine how the flowers would look when they were in full bloom. As you can see in this photo, in the early stages, the flowers looked somewhat like spikes:

Flowers start to appear — at long last.

And then — wham! — the shrub really let loose, with open flowers all over it. Here’s how it looked this past weekend:

Ta-da! Here we are!

The flowers are quite interesting, and so I’ve added this final photo to show the blooms in close-up:

A real starburst of colour.

In a moment of contemplation, I wondered if I could figure out what type of rhododendron this was. And sure enough, when I rooted around in our garage for a while, I found the little card that came attached to the plant when Jan bought it, at the flower shop in Cénac. Turns out that it’s a Rhododendron Scyphocalix (although you probably knew that) and it flowers in “April-May,” according to the card.

One final note: An interesting piece of advice is given at the end of the instructions on the card: “For decoration only. Do not consume.” Glad I read that, just in time!

This entry was posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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