Mountain laurel flowering in December

I stumbled upon a solitary mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) flower yesterday while walking around Lake Mohonk in New Paltz. It isn’t the prettiest mountain laurel flower, but it was DECEMBER 27th, approximately six (!) months before one would expect a mountain laurel flower in this area. This December has been the warmest on record for the area, I think, and Christmas Eve was almost 70 °F (!!). Crazy, and really, really sad. This flower isn’t alone, apparently — the New York Times has a compilation of strange phenology across the country.

Colin Purrington Photography: Plants &emdash; winter-mountain-laurel

If you’d like to see photographs of prettier mountain laurel at Mohonk, here are photographs I took a few summers ago.

About Colin Purrington

PhD in evolutionary biology • twitterinstagram
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One Response to Mountain laurel flowering in December

  1. luckyotter says:

    I think that’s a cute little flower. The weather has been extremely strange–here in western NC it was 74 degrees on Christmas eve! It’s still in the 60s even now. Apparently its due to a combination of El Nino and global warming, and this crazy weather extends deep into Canada! It’s only the east though. The western part of the continent is getting cold weather and even blizzards.

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