Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 14, 2017

More Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Updates 3/14/17

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

The bloom is excellent now in numerous locations.    If you are headed into town and want to see flowers from your car, with a little bit of walking, Henderson Canyon Road, in the vicinity of Pegleg, (junction of Henderson County Road and S22) is a good and easy spot to reach right now and access is good, with lots of parking along the roadsides.  This will be a “rolling bloom”; different areas, different species, different elevations, as things come into bloom; cacti, shrubs, ocotillo are not in bloom yet.  The “Ocotillo forest” area along Borrego Springs road, south of Tilting T, will be spectacular when it comes into bloom, easily viewed from the roadside and that will likely happen in the next week. The entire area is very green.  It’s also important to know that the best flower viewing is in the morning.  Many flowers close up during the heat of the day.  There was very heavy traffic coming into Borrego Springs over last weekend, particularly on S22 coming through Ranchita and down Montezuma Grade.  We expect next weekend to be similar. Visiting on weekdays is a good idea if possible.  Free flower maps are available in ABDNHA’s Nature Center, 652 Palm Canyon Drive.  We update the maps daily as reports come in.

See photos at Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update

Tom Chester’s Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers 

3/14/17It’s warm again but we have to check out the flowers around Clark Dry lake. One of our goals was to find Desert lupine, Lupinus shockleyi in bloom and map the plants along our route. We shortened our route, but it still took us 4 1/2 hours to complete our trip. The first part over the dry lake is rather barren, but with oasis of flowering plants.

Once in the sandy area the bloom count jumped and whole flower fields of Verbena, Primroses and Sunflowers appeared, unfortunately it’s about 2 hours from any road.
The Sunflower fields where impressive, not as dense as along the Henderson Canyon Rd, but in huge numbers.
Another encounter with a reptile, a Flat-tail horned lizard, Phrynosoma mcallii, we almost stepped on one and it didn’t move at all. Even when we came closer with the camera it didn’t blink.
Warning: It’s very hot out there, only for experienced desert hikers.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 59+1
Pictures: Clark Dry Lake loop

3/13 It’s warm again and too busy in town.
A new hike that combines the Hornblende Canyon and Cool Canyon. The shuttle by bike.
An observation, the Hornblende Canyon had the best bloom by far, a lower elevation probably helps.
The Wishbone plant, Mirabilis laevis retrorsa was by far the best bloomer, it helps that the time moved in the right direction, most of the bloom was gone by 10 a.m.
An interesting find an albino Red gland spurge, Euphorbia melanadenia.
We made a side trip to Little Blair Valley to see the fields of Blair Valley pepper-grass, Lepidium flavum felipense in bloom, NICE never seen so many plants in good bloom, the smell was strong and a bit unpleasant.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 64+2
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 39

Pictures: Hornblende Canyon – Cool Canyon

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