Pacific Rhododendron Seedlings

Pacific Rhododendron Seedlings

The Rhododendrons in your garden likely started life as cuttings taken from a parent plant.  Wild Rhododendrons, on the other hand, must grow from seeds.  The trick is to find the little guys.  On yesterday's visit to the Rhododendron grove in Deception Pass State Park, I was fortunate to spot these four seedlings.  The most interesting thing about them was they were not growing in soil.  They were sprouting from a nurse log, a fallen tree that is undergoing decay.  Nurse logs are important components in Pacific Northwest forest communities.  They provide a foothold, nutrients, moisture and protection to seedlings of all sorts.  In addition, a fallen tree opens the canopy just a bit allowing some nurturing sunlight to penetrate the deep forest shade.

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