• Habitat Pictures/Travels

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29.04.2018 Hurricane Creek (GA, Lumpkin Co.)

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 first one to Hurricane Creek, four days later I would go here again. Now there were still some R. canescens in bloom and also many hybrids with R. calendulaceum, especially such hybrids that were closer to R. canescens than to R. calendulaceum. Pure R. calendulaceum in bloom was rare, whereas four days later it will flower more abundantly. Then there will be only few R. canescens left and the hybrids will dominate, now more of them that are closer to R. calendulaceum.

For more information see my publication about Hurricane Creek (in German).

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