Rhodo-thermo-dendrometer

..which makes no sense etymologically. It should be rhododendrothermometer, but I don’t like the way that sounds as well.

Monday morning Arlene looked out the window and said, “This is the first time this year I’ve seen the rhodo leaves all curled up.” We have a PJM rhododendron in front of our dining room window, and a couple of big-leaved rhododendrons elsewhere as foundation plantings. If you happen not to know, rhododendron leaves are sensitive to temperature and are an excellent guide to dressing for winter weather. Nice and spread out — comfortable. Slightly curled up — light jacket. Curled up — dress warmly. Tightly curled — brass monkeys may be damaged.

PJM rhodo — dress warmly. When it’s really cold, this one’s leaves look like bunches of pine needles.
Large-leafed rhodo — dress warmly.

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