These West Virginia rhododendron blossoms (Rhododendron Maximum) were captured in the Coopers Rock State Forest on Sunday, July 12th (State Park). The image is “straight from the camera, untouched”.
This variety is the Rhododendron Maximum, which is an indigenous evergreen shrub that can grow as tall as 30 feet in height. It is also commonly called “Great Laurel”. The flowers can be white, pink or pale purple, usually with small greenish-yellow spots on on the largest petal of each bloom. The evergreen “waxy” leaves can be poisonous. Each plant sheds its long dark green leaves about every six to eight years, but the fallen leaves (that look like rolled cigars) take a very long time to fully decompose. The plant produces these gorgeous flowers from June through August throughout the Appalachian forests of the eastern United States.
It was a beautiful day and many of the rhododendron blooms were still in full flower. The rhododendron is the official state flower of West Virginia. It is easy to see why this wonderful flowering bush was chosen to the represent the “wild & wonderful” State.
This photo was captured early in the late afternoon with a Canon EOS 10D camera. I was using my trusty Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro prime lens with manual focusing. The shutter speed was 1/5th sec at f/9.5. The camera’s ISO was set to 100. A Manfrotto tripod was used with a Manfrotto 222 “pistol grip” head and a Canon remote shutter release cable.
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© 2009 Gene Walls
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