Desert Flower Fans, It's Almost Time

Love your globemallow and ocotillo blossoms? Discover where the petals are popping and whether a superbloom might be on the way.

SPRINGTIME=FLOWERS, it is generally accepted and understood, and with fine reason, too: Buds have a way of bursting when March bows to April and April greets May at the door. Thank the warming temperatures, and other mysterious (but actually based in science) wonders all of the colorful components that lead us to enjoying a plethora of petal-rocking blossoms when the year concludes its first third. There is a but, though, and it is coming up right... now.

BUT? But here's the thing: In the deserts of California, a devotee of the wildflower scene doesn't set his phone alarm for late March. Rather, it's wintertime that's under observation. Aficionados of Anza-Borrego State Desert Park, a place that's famous for its exquisite flowers, and Death Valley National Park, know that things can get popping after the holidays. Will there be some of the astounding "carpets" of flowers occasionally seen in the desert? Perhaps the much-anticipated...

SUPERBLOOM, even? All of the precipitation in recent weeks may lead to some spectacular carpet-y effects in certain desert corners. For now, look for small spurts and spotty flower action, but a "Bursting-with-Blooms" event could very well be on the way for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. So yes, best start chanting "superbloom, superbloom," and keep those fingers crossed. Even pretty good blooms are worthwhile, of course, as every flower in the arid expanse is a jewel to behold.

CONTINUE TO TAKE HEART, is what we're saying, for the regular flower reports have started for 2019. What sites will you want to watch over the next couple of months? The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association's fantastic Wildflower Updates page is a solid place to start, while Desert USA reports that, due to the recent rain, that "(i)t may be a good year for wildflowers in many areas." Other travel sites may also weigh in as winter warms up and larger sprays are seen. Will there be a superbloom? The outlook isn't good in Death Valley National Park, but best keep an eye on your favorite gorgeous and remote desert spots. It's go time, or will be, in no time at all.

(Updated Feb. 11, 2019)

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