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Celebrate the Alpine Flowers

June 10, 2016

Diapensia and Lapland rosebay8@Chandler Ridge.Mt.W.lr.6-8-14 copy

Time to celebrate the amazing alpine flowers! During the first weeks in June, the highest mountaintops in New England and New York finally begin to bloom.

AMC leads several tours above treeline on the Presidential Range to see the floral display. The group shown here braved rain, sleet, and 50 mph winds to visit the Alpine Garden last weekend.

Alpine Garden group@Mt. Washington.6-5-16

Lapland rosebay above Cow Pasture2 6-6-13 copy

The wild, wet weather did not dampen the exuberance of the Lapland rosebay (Rhododendron lapponicum). This small arctic shrub bursts forth with purple-pink flowers, set against its blue-green leaves.

Pink Lapland rosebay7@Alpine Garden.lr.Mt.W.6-8-14 copy

Rare color variations include these rose-colored flowers above Huntington Ravine.

White Lapland rosebay2@Mt. Washington 6-8-13 copy

A white-flowered shrub was found in 2014 on Ball Crag.

Rosebay and diapensia2@Mt. Washington.6-5-16.sm copy

The 2016 bloom seems exceptionally showy, for both the rosebay and the diapensia. This carpet of flowers was photographed in howling horizontal rain on the Nelson Crag Trail. Conditions were hard on the camera, but only made the alpine flowers more beautiful.

Photos and text by AMC Nature Notes guest blogger Allison W. Bell.  Allison is the Co-Author of the AMC Guide To New England Alpine Summits.

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