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Saturday, 27 May 2017


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Ha! I'm even further from being a horticulturist than you but this sure looks like a couple of blazing plants we came across in New York's Central Park a few weeks ago. They were so "flagrant" that I also took a photo of them. But, alas. I cannot offer a clue to their identity and look forward to another reader to solve the mystery!

It looks like a rhododendron to me.


Lovely plants, had them in the yard when I lived in the Seattle area. Nearly impossible to grow here in Colorado.

I'll quote Roxy Music:

Is a nice flower
It lasts forever
But it can't beat Strand power


It's a Rhododendron of some sort


It looks like a rhododendron, likely of the subgenera azalea, but you can ascertain that by counting anthers: the azalea has only five per flower. (With thanks to Mr. Google.)

They are gorgeous, aren't they? I am envious; they're not cut out for the hot/cold/dry prairies.

Rhododendron it is a staple in our and most gardens around here (Vancouver Island)

I am 90% certain you have a Formosa Azalea.
I had a similar plant that was at least that big - they are common in my zone 7, North Carolina.

I'm assured that's a rhododendron but take no responsibility if it isn't. Any lake pigment made from it is likely to be like Butters, highly fugitive.

Looks like a Rhododendron. BTW since you are such a stickler for correct word forms it is disappointing to see you not using inititial lowercase in a specific name, even a made up one ;-)

Here's some unsolicited advice form an ex-commercial rhodo grower.

Flower pruning encourages blooms to set for next spring. As soon as the blooms are finished, pinch them off. They will just snap off. Your rhodo has ample flowers now, so the soil conditions and sun exposure must be excellent. It is a very happy rhodo. Pinching the blooms is just insurance it will look this lovely next spring.

I would also pinch off many new leave sprouts. This is the best way to shape the plant to best suit the landscaping. The preferred shape is subjective (unless you're selling them). However, it seems your rhodo could use a little guidance.

Mike it looks like a rhododendron as many have already suggested, however a word of caution in regard to these beautiful plants, they can be very invasive and can be very difficult to control especially in moderate climates.
Here in Ireland they have proved to be a huge problem in places such as Killarney national park, hope you don't have a similar problem with yours Mike.

Now you just need some cyan, yellow and kanal.

I'm terrified to buy an Epson because of their particular reputation for clogging and all the palaver that goes with clogging. Is it unfounded? After all, TOP recommends an Epson.

[I hate to say it's a thing of the past, what with my big sample of one and hearsay from a dozen people. But I don't think it's the issue it used to be.

I know, not very reassuring, but I don't want to say more than I know.... --Mike]

Why don't you ask for possible uses for a pet fence in the photography business? I can think of a few right off!

to Arg: I felt the same way when I purchased a refurbished Epson 3000 last fall. I've been burned in the past. I flushed a couple of hundred dollars through an Epson 4000 trying to revive it several years ago and swore I would never own another inkjet printer. The print quality is so high though, I was lured back in. This time I had dozens of images ready and decided to print like crazy in the beginning and if it died 6 months later, it would still be worth it. So far, no clogs and if I do get an unrecoverable one, I am going to convert it to a monochrome printer (piezography) and just turn off the bad channels. For me, it has been worth it.

That red chair seems to be positioned to admire the foilage:

[Heh! No, it overlooks a little glade with a waterfall. But it's in a gully so it's hard to see in the photos. --Mike]

And regarding the invasive rhododendrons, which we have plenty of about the Scottish Highlands, the worst offenders tend to be the more common purple flowering variety:

I've been very badly behaved about not printing regularly (the scenario in which Epsons were particularly prone to clogging), and my 3880 has come through it with flying colors, not even expending major fractions of cartridges on head-cleanings.

So, I'm not prepared to say it can't be an issue. And if you don't print for months on end, that's when you're at risk. What you really need to do is remember to print something (a 4x6, or maybe even something on cheap conventional paper) every month or so if nothing comes up that you need to print. But I haven't been doing that much at all, and the last three times I've printed (April 2016, October 2016, and about yesterday) it hasn't been a problem. One cleaning cycle in there somewhere, which seems more than fair. (Working toward more printing here, aspirationally at least. I may have forgotten something I printed, too.)

We have a rhodo festival here in the Blue Mountains (Aus) every year in November - never actually been before, but maybe this year.

One thing that I've found with photography is that the more I travel and shoot, the more I learn about plants and animals and rock formations and...you get the picture! I think I know more about trees and animals in the US than I do about them here :)

Rhododendrons are very invasive. In the Quantock's an area of outstanding natural beauty here in the UK, the forestry commission had to bulldoze a very large area away. I have photo's of the devastation but have no idea how to post them. Make sure they do not spread.

Hi Arg,

Wirecutter has a pretty in depth review, might be of help.




I have no problem with the P600 they recommend, and in fact still have one here; the reason I recommend the P800 over the P600 is that the smaller ink cartridges of the P600 mean higher ink costs overall and more frequent cartridge swapping. If you print regularly or like to make larger-than-8x10 prints, I think you will be happier with the P800, which is the same price with rebates, more or less, as the everyday price of the P600. Here is an in-depth review of the P800, a legacy of the departed Ctein:


Wirecutter spends some time trying to justify the $800 P600 for use with "smartphones and $300 point-and-shoots," whereas I think our audience is more likely to be more serious and own better equipment. That makes the P600 more of a minimum choice for occasional smaller prints, but it also makes the P800 a better all-around choice.

I don't think you'll go far wrong either way, but a printer is a purchase that will be "depreciated" (in effect) over several years, and the ink costs for anyone who prints moderately heavily, or more, will soon outweigh a difference in purchase price of only a few hundred dollars.


As others have said, a rhododendron almost certainly. Beautiful but nasty plant that is said to drop poison onto the ground underneath it to remove competition (but not sure if this is really true). Self-seeded versions (eg R ponticum) can be invasive; they are usually purple here in the UK, and blight many Scottish hillside valleys.

Maybe one of these mentioned apps can help you out identifying plants. I haven't tried them myself, but it is an interesting use for cameras.


Don't forget Canon's 17-inch/A2 printer: the Pixma Pro-1000, which has a $300 rebate on it right now too.

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