New photos: Joshua trees in the Southern California desert are in 'once-in-a-lifetime' bloom

Nillie De Grakovac

Flowers in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by user Nillie De Grakovac.

Nillie De Grakovac

Flowers in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by user Nillie De Grakovac.

Lanscape of Joshua Tree National Park

Nillie De Grakovac

The sun shines on Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Nillie De Grakovac.

Joshua Tree in Bloom

Nillie De Grakovac

Joshua Tree in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by user Nillie De Grakovac.

Joshua Tree in Bloom

Nillie De Grakovac

Joshua Tree in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by user Nillie De Grakovac.

Flowers in Bloom

Nillie De Grakovac

Flowers in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by user Nillie De Grakovac.

Joshua Tree in Bloom

Marie MacLean

Marie MacLean submitted this photo of a Joshua Tree in bloom.

Joshua Tree in Bloom

One of our fans submitted this photo via email.

Flowers in Bloom

Marie MacLean

Marie MacLean submitted this photo of flowers in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park after visiting for the first time in April 2013.

Joshua Tree

Marie MacLean

Marie MacLean submitted this photo of a Joshua Tree after visiting Joshua Tree National Park for the first time in April 2013.

Joshua Tree in Bloom

Marie MacLean

Marie MacLean submitted this photo of a Joshua Tree in bloom.

A Joshua Tree in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted bu Hank Allen.

An up close look at the bloom of a Joshua Tree. Photo submitted by Hank Allen.

Flowers in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Hank Allen.

The landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Hank Allen.

A Joshua Tree in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Hank Allen.

User submitted Joshua Tree

Michael P. Dusich

Joshua tree in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 3, 2013, submitted by KPCC member Mike Dusich.

User submitted photo

Michael P. Dusich

A view from Eureka Peak in Joshua Tree National Park on April 3, 2013, looking north into the Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Base, from KPCC member Mike Dusich.

Yaman Özakin, University of Southern California

USC geophysics doctoral candidate Yaman Özakin shared his photo from Joshua Tree, taken on Sunday.

Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.

Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

The bloom of a Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.

Joshua Tree 10_$e0.jpg

Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.

Joshua Tree 08_$e0.jpg

Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.

Joshua Tree 09_$e0.jpg

Dave Bezaire/Flickr Creative Commons

Joshua trees in bloom at Joshua Tree National Park on April 6, 2013.

David Hahn/President American Arts Trust

This user-submitted photo was originally taken in 3D at Joshua Tree.


Joshua trees — those spiky sentinels of the Mojave Desert — are having a blossom bonanza and nobody is quite sure why.

Experts tell the Riverside Press-Enterprise that millions of trees have been bursting into bundles of greenish-white flowers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

Biologists say just about every tree has bloomed. Usually, far fewer trees blossom and they produce fewer flowers.

UC Riverside ecologist Cameron Barrows calls it a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Some have speculated that the trees benefited from late-summer thunderstorms last year or cool winter weather.

But desert biologist James Cornett believes the stress from two years of drought have pushed the plants to reproduce.

The bloom is expected to last for several weeks.

Do you have images of the Joshua trees in bloom? Send them to us at this email address and we'll share them. You can also post them to Twitter and "@" mention @KPCC, and we'll retweet them.

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