If you’re looking for wild flowers in the Carpathians, the Rhododendron is one of the most spectacular one, thanks to its density on the alpine pastures. Its blooming time is from June to July, depending on weather. Also called Rhododendron myrtifolium, this highly perfumed flower grown mainly in Bucegi and Ciucas mountains, but can be found also in other massifs in Romania.
It’s an evergreen shrub which prefers the mountainous meadows in Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. It grows at high altitudes and it is a protected flower in Bucegi National Park. Its distinctive characteristic that makes it different to other wild flowers in the Carpathians is its color and scent – it smells like sour cherry but also thanks to the fabulous scenery it creates. Just watch out for vipers, when you’re walking through the rhododendron and for bears, on your way to the mountains!
Another place where you can find rhododendron in Romania is the Ciucas mountains. Here, the green slopes of the mountain turn pink every year, in June, and hundreds of people rush to witness this colorful phenomena. The scenery is every photographer’s dream.
Although in Romania, the rhododendron is a protected plant, in Ireland and the United Kingdom it is considered invasive.
However, in Nepal, the rhododendron is the national flower and is consumed and enjoyed for its sour taste. The pickled flower can last for months but the flower juice is also good for commercialization.