Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 11, 2016

Death Valley National Park 2/10/16

Death Valley National Park has the following new wildflower update:

The bloom is still basically localized, fantastic in the southeastern part of the park but just beginning in other locations. Badwater Road is still the place to go to, with the fields getting bigger the farther south that you travel. If you do not have the time to travel to the southern end of the Badwater Road, there is a wonderful diversity of flower species on the alluvial fans north of Badwater, from about Mile Marker 12 on the Badwater Road to Badwater. The first mile or two of Artist’s Drive is also quite nice.

More flowers are popping up every week on Highway 190. We’re getting some nice patches of color between Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. The Golden Evening Primrose (Camissonia brevipes) and Notchleaf Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata) are looking pretty between Furnace Creek and Zabriskie Point. If you have the proper vehicle to access some of our backcountry roads, Warm Springs Canyon is the hands down winner. There is also some nice Sand Verbena (Abronia villosa) at the Ibex Dunes. For hikers, I would recommend the canyons in the southern Black Mountains or the Owlsheads for the best selection of blooms.

What is most exciting to me this spring is not necessarily the number of flowers we have blooming early, or the vast number of tiny plants filling in behind them. It is the way some of the plants, that have not yet bloomed or are just beginning to bloom, are super sized. Jack-in-the-Beanstalk stems of Desert Gold (Geraea canescens). Basal rosettes of Gravel Ghost (Atrichoserus platyphylla) that are more than a foot in diameter. Notchleaf Phacelia standing nearly three feet high. Desert Five-Spot (Eremalche rotundifolia) plants with three dozen buds on just one plant. It’s mind-boggling.

See photos and more wildflower posts on Death Valley at Death Valley National Park

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