On several occasions this spring, I visited a local bog to observe some of the countless bird, insect, and plant developments that can be witnessed as the green season unfolds. On one such visit, portions of the bog were lit up with the showy pink flowers of Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense).
This shrub, when flowering, can quickly and easily be identified using the key in Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. You start by answering the basic questions to obtain a 3-digit code.
Flower type: Irregular Flowers (1--)
Plant type: Shrub (15-)
Leaf type: No Apparent Leaves at Flowering Time (151)
This combination takes you to page 104, where you can identify your mystery plant as this native member of the Heath (Ericaceae) family. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)