"This sea of ice, which embosoms in its farthest recesses a little living flower-garden, whither the humble-bees from Chamouny resort for honey, is also bordered by steep lonely beds of the fragrant rhododendron, or rose of the Alps. This hardy and beautiful flower grows from a bush larger than our sweet-fern, with foliage like the leaves of the ivory-plum. It continues blooming late in the season, and sometimes covers vast declivities on the mountains at a great hight, where one would hardly suppose it possible for a handful of earth to cling to the rocky surface. There, amid the snows and ice of a thousand winters, it pours forth its perfume on the air, though there be none to inhale the fragrance, or praise the sweetness, save only 'the little busy bees,' that seem dizzy with delight, as they throw themselves into the bosom of these beds of roses.
The wonders of the world: a complete museum, descriptive and pictorial
By John Loraine Abbott