Wild Flower Season is Here!

2010 Wild Flower report

We have had more rain this winter then in the recent couple of years. It should make for a good bloom of wild flowers – Perhaps not as spectacular as 2005 but very well worth getting out to the desert this spring to see them.

The Desert USA web site is my primary source for the status of wildflowers in the spring. They cover Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.

If you go to the Southern California report, with this direct link: Southern California Wild flower Report, you can drill down to additional reports specific to Anza Borrego Desert State Part, Death Valley NP, Joshua Tree NP, and Mojave National Preserve .

The peak bloom has already started in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

It is well ahead of the other areas. (http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca_abdsp.html )

This is a quota from Desert USA for the Anza Borrego Area left Feb 26, 2010.

“About half of the desert annuals have begun blooming, with the rest to follow in the next month. This is the exciting phase of peak bloom, where every trip reveals additional species blooming, and finds fields of bloom from species that only had a few individuals blooming just a week earlier. Peak bloom at elevations of about 1000 feet on the desert floor should continue for at least several weeks, through March. Its end will come whenever the temperatures hit 80° or above for a week or two. Peak bloom in the canyons to the west of Borrego Springs should begin in a few weeks, sometime in early March. Peak bloom is defined here as the time period when you can see the maximum number of species in bloom on a given one or two day trip, as well as the maximum number of individual plants in bloom.”

Here is some advice from the official State park web site for Anza Borrego Desert State park.

“Suggested times for enjoying the flowers

  • During or immediately after a rain — Get out and enjoy the air when it’s filled with the aroma of the creosote bush.
  • Two weeks after a rain — Watch for new green leaves on Ocotillo branches. Look for fields of yellow Chinchweed. “

Visit the anza Borrego Desert State Park web site for their status reports.

If you go to Anza Borego DSP, expect large crowds in the best viewing areas that are accessible by 2-Wheel drive vehicles. With 4-Wheel Drive you will be able to drive further in – just stay on the trails! Hotel rooms will also be scarce for the next month or two. But there is plenty of camping available.

Use this rule of thumb to plan your trips this spring:
Blooming Periods

  • 1,000 – 3,000 feet
    • Yuccas—March and April
    • Annuals—February, March, and April
    • Cacti—March, April, and May
  • 3,000 – 5,000 feet
    • Joshua Trees and Yuccas—March and April
    • Annuals—March, April, and May
    • Cacti—April, May, and June
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