Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 28, 2016

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Updates 2/28/16

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has the following new reports

February 28 First, Second, Third Crossing ; Coyote Canyon  View Hike Details Here
While driving early up to first crossing the Desert lily where easy to spot as they where completely open.  Water is still streaming in First Crossing and about 400 meters down stream, where it is still flowing underground as the ground is wet for another couple of hundred meters.  This is always an interesting area where low desert meets water.
The dominant bloomers:  Brown-eyed Primrose, Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii  Spectacle-pod, Dithyrea californica  Desert Sand Verbena, Abronia villosa  California suncup, Eulobus californicus  Spanish needles, Palafoxia arida arida  London rocket, Sisymbrium irio  Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa  Some Desert-Dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata and Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana, but it’s probably too early for full bloom.
We couldn’t ID the huge wooden skeleton plants, until we found a live one, Hooker’s evening-primrose, Oenothera elata ssp. hirsutissima, what a big wooden plant.  We found our first ever white Palmer’s milkvetch, Astragalus palmeri.  Our first Blue palo verde, Parkinsonia florida  tree of the season, partially in bloom, but this one gets plenty of water.  All in all more than 50 different species in bloom were spotted.

Saturday  February 27   Arroyo Tapiado, Arroyo Seco del Diablo
 “Yes this is a superb year for desert lilies. Today we took a jeep ride up the Arroyo Tapiado then came back down via Arroyo Seco del Diablo. Hundreds and hundreds of lilies, a few blooming. Also saw Spanish Needles, lupine, Salton Milkvetch, and some brittle bush in bloom. A number of ocotillos is this area are showing their red now, too”

Borrego Springs
Henderson canyon rd: Sunflowers are close to bloom, but still rather small, we found one in full bloom, the number should increase by the day. A couple of lilies in bloom along the road. Digiorgio end of the asphalt: A few Lilies in bloom, less than along Henderson cy rd (up to the end of the aspalt), but certainly not the thousands mentioned earlier.. Around noon most of the Lilies are closed, so a lot of visitors will see Lilies (almost) closed up. Further on the Digiorgio dirt road a lot more Lilies, the best part is off asphalt. We checked this morning at 8 a.m., the Lilies are easy to spot along the road (at that time they are fully open), but you have to drive another mile on the dirt road, not much of a problem for most cars. 

Borrego Springs
The ocotillo along the west side of Borrego Springs Road about 2 miles south of Christmas Circle, are setting up for a spectacular bloom.  Some are already in bloom and most are just a few days away.

Beckman Wash
Went hiking today out and about around Beckman Wash, some nice desert lilies out there as well, plus verbena, primrose, California sunflower

Friday February 26   Alma Wash – View Hike Details Here
A splendid flower day. While driving the temperature read 38 degree, that’s still cold, 48 at the trail head 7:00, nice. Flowering was rather strong, much better than we expected, we just visited the area north of the Visitor Center and this was way better.
Hundreds of Narrow-leaf sun-cup, Eremothera refracta at the entrance of the canyon, on the bank, very easy to miss among the tiny Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis subsp. peirsonii. The flowers where of similar size, but the leaves rather different.
The Slender lobed four o’clock, Mirabilis tenuiloba to close during the day, but we need to check. Splendid blooming Cheesebush, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola and even prettier in fruit. Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora not too many, they liked the shade most and I was worried how this would affect the picture. Most California barrel cactus, Ferocactus cylindraceus where starting to bloom. Finally a Beetle spurge, Euphorbia eriantha in bloom. Encountered a couple of Brown turbans, Malperia tenuis, close to bloom.  And at the end one Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris in bloom, more sure to follow. On the trip plenty of Parish’s poppy, Eschscholzia parishii, a couple of Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana and a handful Bigelow’s monkey flower,Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii in bloom. Close to the car a whole bunch of Tarantula hawk in Sweet bush. A really splendid productive but very long hike.

See photos at  Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

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