Rhododendron – Friend or Foe?

The Rhododendron plant was first introduced to Ireland in the 1700s, from Europe and Asia, and is one of the most invasive non-indigenous plants in our parks and woodlands.   The plant has beautiful flowers, which come in a variety of colours, and can grow up to about 8 m in height, but unfortunately, the plant can be very dense, and takes over and kills any weaker plants in its path.    The National Parks in Killarney and Glengarriff (in fact all over Ireland)  are battling every year to contain this plant and prevent it from spreading.

We were walking in Glengarriff on Sunday, and saw some lovely cultivated plants in gardens, in a variety of colours.  These cultivated plants don’t cause too much of a problem, as they can be contained and not allowed to spread, but the ordinary purple type is found everywhere on hillsides and can become a real nuisance.

Here are a few shots of the blooms.

 

Quietly taking over!

Quietly taking over!

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