Here's the glorious Pacific Rhododendron, the state flower of Washington. I've posted photos before of this flower, and once again had to include one from a hike up Mt. Zion, as they were so numerous. The shrubs are almost landscaped along the trail, and now in the first week of July they were in full bloom.
Rhododendron macrophyllum, state flower of Washington. Once again, we saw the flowering cycle as very elevation dependent, with the first flowers being observed at about 1000 meters elevation., along with new leaves.
This was an example of Phenology: which "is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation). "
Elevation 1000 meters (3300 feet)
Mount Townsend ( Trail 839)
Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District
The masses of Pacific Rhododendrons were the most beautiful I've ever seen along the trail up to Mt. Walker. The trail begins at about 800' elevation and continues up to 2805', with Rhodies blooming all along the way under the mixed conifer forest.
Rhododendron macrophyllum, the Pacific Rhododendron, Coast Rhododendron or Big Leaf Rhododendron, is a broadleaf evergreen rhododendron species native to western North America.