Out Of Season Bloom
Due to the very mild Fall and Winter: January 4; many Society members have been reporting out of season bloom in the Northwest. Early Winter has seen only a few mild frosts, and rhododendrons, both hybrid and species are opening occasional blooms.
Disregarding R. neriiflorum and some of its subspecies that are apt to bloom even in late Summer, some plants as R. mucronulatum , R. racemosum , R. croceum , and R. scintillans are showing single flowers and in instances full bloom.
A frost on December 3, though light, caught the swollen buds on R. croceum and all were summarily lost. An inspection of R. wardii also bore out what should have been a foregone conclusion as in years past, all the buds were quite dead. R. wardii is one of the worst offenders and the only bloom ever seen on this particular plant is the out of season bloom, usually any time after the first of September. It is regrettable that this best of all yellows is so temperamental.
The really early blooming large growing specie, R. sutchuenense , R. barbatum , R. arboreum , and R. calophytum are not deceived by the mild early season, but wait their time and never seem to vary in blooming season more than a week or so. All the buds on the above mentioned are quite dormant.