Rhododendron albiflorum, Mount Hood - east side

On August 18, 2019 Andrew Stern and I hiked from the Elk Meadow trailhead near Hood River Meadows Ski area to Elk Mountain. We hiked up trail 645 to the Bluegrass Ridge Trail 647 to the Elk Mountain Trail spur. Over to the vista point on Elk Mountain, then north thru the 2011 burn to the Bluegrass Ridge Tie 647B, down to the Elk Meadow trail and back(south) to the trailhead.

According to the Oregon Flora website (http://www.oregonflora.org/atlas.php) Lilla Leach collected R albiflorum on the high ridge east of Elk Meadow, Mt Hood on 31 Jul 1927. My goal was to see if the species still existed in that area since the Bluegrass Fire in 2006 had burnt much of the Bluegrass Ridge east of Elk Meadow, north of Elk Mountain. (see: https://wyeastblog.org/2016/10/22/dollar-lake-fire-five-years-after/ ).

We located a large area of R albiflorum along the Bluegrass trail about a half mile or so east of the Elk Meadow Trail at about 5400' elevation. The stand is healthy and covers several acres. We did not get off the trail so could not see how extensive the stand is.

On top of Bluegrass Ridge we did not locate any in the 2006 burn area - unlike the 2011 Dollar Lake burn area on Cathedral Ridge where R albiflorum is numerous and healthy. The 2006 Bluegrass fire did burn close to Elk Meadow on the east. A small patch of R albiflorum was found, and noted, along the trail just south-east of Elk Meadow.

Along Elk Meadow trail north of the trailhead we did find three patches of R albiflorum each consisting of maybe 10 or so plants. The first about 50' north of Umbrella Falls trail was on a flat area, while two other patches were south of Umbrella Falls trail in two rills.

Another spot with both R albiflorum and menziesii was found south of Sahalie Falls in a road cut.

Posted by geographerdave geographerdave, August 20, 2019 19:11

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

White-flowered Rhododendron Rhododendron albiflorum

Observer

geographerdave

Date

August 18, 2019 06:00 PM PDT

Description

Growing with R menziesii.
growing along road south of Sahalie Falls in road cut.
2nd photo shows R albiflorum in lower left, in front of R menziesii which is above and behind.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-flowered Rhododendron Rhododendron albiflorum

Observer

geographerdave

Date

August 18, 2019 05:30 PM PDT

Description

Three small patches noted along Elk Meadow trail near Umbrella Falls trail junction.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-flowered Rhododendron Rhododendron albiflorum

Observer

geographerdave

Date

August 18, 2019 01:31 PM PDT

Description

about 5425' elevation. Very thick stand, along with Vaccinium sp, under Mt Hemlock. Lilla Leach collected White-flowered Rhododendron from Elk Mountain, Hood River in the late 1930's and they are very common along Bluegrass Ridge trail from ~5425' up about another 100' in elevation or so.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-flowered Rhododendron Rhododendron albiflorum

Observer

geographerdave

Date

August 18, 2019 04:14 PM PDT

Description

several plants noted alongside trail. part of population along Bluegrass Ridge trail above this spot?

Photos / Sounds

What

Mock Azalea Rhododendron menziesii

Observer

geographerdave

Date

August 18, 2019 06:01 PM PDT

Description

First photo shows R menziesii with raised seed pods/flower stalk remains. Second photo shows the plant with a R albiflorum below, to the left and in front of it. R menziesii has duller foliage, and R albiflorum has glossier foliage.

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