Hurricane Creek is a small rivulet about 80km/50M north from Atlanta. It is flowing in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a hilly and slightly mountainous landscape with dense deciduous forest. There are few bad forest roads in the area, that allow to enter only a little. Exploring must be on foot. The property once belonged to one of my azalea friends, Charlie Andrews. Later he sold it to a friend of his.
Along the creek there is R. arborescens, but this is not yet in bloom end of April. Main attraction are countless R. calendulaceum and their natural hybrids. They develop from cross-pollination with R. canescens, that is also growing here. Charlie Andrews has tagged and numbered his favourite plants with so called HC-numbers and has a listing with exact data on flower colors, grid references and ploidy. R. calendulaeum is tetraploid. Hybrids formed with diploid R. canescens are always triploid. In later generations diploid and tetraploid offsprings are possible again. However, their appearance normally still shows signs of hybridization. As far as HC- numbers have been assigned or the ploidy has been determined I will show this in the captions (DIPloid, TRIPloid, TETraploid).
This excursion was my second one to Hurricane Creek, four days after the first one. Whereas a few days ago some R. canescens and many hybrids had been in bloom and pure R. calendulaceum had been missing almost completely it now looked very different: R. canescens almost did not bloom any more, there were still many hybrids in bloom and there was much more true R. calendulaceum now.
For more information see my publication about Hurricane Creek (in German).