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Old 06-20-2012, 08:28 PM
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Default Smoky Mountain Flowers

This past weekend, I found some flowers that I had never seen or at least noticed before and was hoping someone on here could help me with identification plus have a couple questions on other flowers as well. Here are the first flowers I want to know about.





To me they look almost like orchids but I honestly really have no idea. I figured someone on here could help.

Here is the next one I would like to know about. I have seen these before, but don't know the actual name.



Finally, what I'm sure is a really dumb question, but I want to know the answer enough that I'm willing to look foolish. What is the difference between rhododendron and mountain laurel? After using Google to check out some pictures, I'm still having a bit of a hard time telling the difference. I'm sure its very clear but I'm missing it somehow. I took a picture of these last weekend. Which one is this?



Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:17 PM
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Default Mtn Laurel v. Rhododendron

I can't answer your first questions but I've wondered the same about your last question. When they aren't flowering they look similar to me from a leaf perspective. The picture you took is of a Rhododendron Maximum or American Rhododendron (or also known as "Pete's fly stealers"...). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rh...on_maximum.jpg

The flower of a Mtn Laurel looks like an umbrella (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kalmia_Latifolia.jpg) and the Rhodo has five major petals. We also have Catawba Rhodos and probably a few other sub species.

The Mtn Laurel is a part of the blueberry family and Rhodos are part of the Heath family, closely related to Azaleas.

That's probably more than you wanted to know...or more than I should know...


Ok, here's a bit more. I just asked my wife about the other two and she says that the first one looks like a Trout Lily (that's an interesting coincidence...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythronium_americanum) and that the second is Bee Balm (Monardo - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarda)

Now, I need to go have a beer, sharpen my axe and change my spark plugs...
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Last edited by PeteCz; 06-20-2012 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: Additional Info...
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:41 PM
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Not an expert by any means, but I do love flowers and blooming shrubs.

I think photos #1&2 are Turks's Cap Lily
#3-Crimson Bee Balm
#4 Rosebay Rhododendron

Not much difference really in Rhododendron and Mt Laurel. Both are in the heath family Ericaceae. The blooms on Mt Laurel are a little smaller and have some pinkish markings inside the bloom. They also bloom about a month to six weeks earlier than Rhododendron.

Sorry Pete, guess we were tying at about the same time
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Last edited by flyman; 06-20-2012 at 09:59 PM.. Reason: genetics have been cruel to me
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:59 AM
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Default The difference is simple

Mountain Laurel is usually fairly docile, but Rhododendron has a heart of pure evil and often tries to kill, maim, or torture those whose trespass on it's territory.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:38 AM
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I've been through some pretty thick mountain laurel

While in many areas I would agree it's fairly docile - there are other places where it can be just as mean if not meaner than rhodo.

While Rhodo can make you clausterphobic, easily turned around, and often times swimming through it where you feet only touch the ground every 100 yards or so, and other times crawling on your belly or doing some mouse in a maze routine;Thick Larurel can be much more abrasive to the skin and has tighter spaced branches that can plain just hurt more
YMMV

Most of the time you can easily spot the differences between Laurel & Rhodo just based on overall plant and leaf size.

I believe Earl Grey Tea is made from beabalm also - not that it has anything to do with fishing

Went fishing yesterday and the rhodo at the lower elevations was at full bloom
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:16 AM
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Thanks guys! I knew there must be some people on here that would know and you have surpassed my expectations!
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
I
I believe Earl Grey Tea is made from beabalm also - not that it has anything to do with fishing

Went fishing yesterday and the rhodo at the lower elevations was at full bloom

From wikipedia:

Several bee balm species (Monarda fistulosa and Monarda didyma) have a long history of use as a medicinal plants by many Native Americans including the Blackfoot, Menominee, Ojibwa and Winnebago. The Blackfoot Indians recognized the strong antiseptic action of these plants, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee balm is the natural source of the antiseptic Thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a tea made from bee balm as a general stimulant. Bee balm was also used as a carminative herb by Native Americans to treat excessive flatulence.[6][7] An infusion of crushed Monarda leaves in boiling water has been used to treat headaches and fevers.
Although somewhat bitter, due to the thymol content in the leaves and buds, the plant tastes like a mix of spearmint and peppermint with oregano. Bee balm was traditionally used by Native Americans as a seasoning for wild game, particularly birds. The plants are widespread across North America and can be found in moist meadows, hillsides, and forest clearings up to 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in elevation.



So now if you are in the backcountry, need a way to flavor some trout, maybe try some bee balm? Or if your fishing partner had too much chili the day before, you know what to do...

As far as fishing yesterday... how low were you and were the temps/levels a factor or were you off the beaten path enough?
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDuncan View Post
So now if you are in the backcountry, need a way to flavor some trout, maybe try some bee balm? Or if your fishing partner had too much chili the day before, you know what to do...

As far as fishing yesterday... how low were you and were the temps/levels a factor or were you off the beaten path enough?
Too funny about some of the things that plant is used for but good to know!

I'm really curious to see what duckypaddler has to say about fishing yesterday as well...I want to hit some lower streams but thinking it might be getting a little slow now.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:01 PM
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I am hoping to hit up some lower elev streams some weeknight evening in the near future, from like 6-dark or something so I am hoping that we either get some rain in the next few or that the fishing is still decent for that time of day
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:44 PM
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Fishing will still be good that time of day is my guess...that's when the big boys come out to play this time of year...
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