Catch Southern California's wildflower 'super bloom' before it withers away

153493 full
153493 full

Yet another positive effect of the wettest winter California has seen in years has manifested: super blooms of wildflowers.

Native flora in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is tucked away in Southern California's southeast desert area, are set to hit their peak bloom later this month, but bursting bushels of various greenery are already sprouting up. 

Recent rains have prompted the development of a stunning display of desert lilies, sunflowers, pink sand verbena, poppies and more. The anticipated warm weather also means their peak bloom is fast approaching. 

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A bloom like this hasn't been seen in about 20 years, Briana Puzzo, education manager for Anza-Borrego Foundation told KPCC. When it rains, the moisture reaches deep into the soil, nourishing seeds and producing the magnificent spectacle. 

It's also the foundation's 50th anniversary. 

"We’re joking that our flowers are coming out to celebrate with us," she said. 

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Folks who are interested in basking in all the floral glory will have to embark on an arduous journey. The park is 600,000 acres with 500 miles of dirt roads.

Certain species of plants are isolated to certain areas of the park, Puzzo said, adding that visitors should consider using a desert-friendly vehicle or map out hikes on the park's website. 

Here's a breakdown of where certain blooms are located throughout the park: 

  • Desert lily plants are continuing to pop up in many locations, including the badlands. The dirt road to Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp is a good place to spot them (Four-wheel drive is recommended).
  • Notch-leaved Phacelia can also be found in the badlands this year, but can only be reached if you are driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle.  
  • Desert Sunflowers are popular among visitors and can bee seen in the “Flower Fields” along Henderson Canyon Road.

For additional information, call the State Park Wildflower Hotline at 760-767-4684.

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