Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 11, 2017

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Update 4/10/17

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

he low elevation bloom in the valley floor is now gone but there are still many washes and canyons in higher elevations to explore with cacti in bloom, shrubs and annual flowers.  

Mine Wash:  The drive to the village site at Mine Wash is beautiful with Spiny Senna (also called Desert Cassia) contrasting their yellow blooms with the green and orange of the ocotillo.  If you stop and walk, you will find other colors, too, with the purples and blues of desert lavender and indigo bush; the pinks hedgehog and beavertail cacti;  and white/cream of pincushion flowers and brown-eyed primroses.  Even more yellow accents are provided by desert dandelion, poppies, brittle bush and creosote. – Report from Marcy Yates

The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail – Just a few miles from the center of town; this popular hike is still a good place to explore for flowers and desert scenery.

The higher elevation Culp Valley, around Pena Spring is also a good place to explore right now.

Fages-Cal Riding & Hiking Trail – Pacific Crest Loop  Hiking Details
On a return visit to this higher elevation hike they report s
mall fields of Douglas’ violet, Viola douglasii, California buttercup and Ranunculus californicus.  Larger fields of California goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis and Erodium.  From the scrups Cup leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus perplexans was in excellent bloom, at higher elevations.

Best recommendation for Drive-By/Easy Access Flowers: Starting at the ABDNHA Borrego Desert Nature Center to pick up a free flower location map, you’ll see our blooming Botanical Garden; then head north on Borrego Springs Road to see the metal statues.

Recommended: Drive DiGiorgio Road to the end of the pavement, park, and get out to see up close Desert Lilies, Spectacle Pod, Sand Verbena, Desert Sunflowers. For those who want to drive the (2WD accessible) dirt road beyond the end of DiGiorgio Road into Coyote Canyon for a couple miles to “Desert Gardens,” you will see even more blooms (Poppies, Desert Dandelions, and just beginning to bloom are the Ocotillo and Beavertail Cactus).

Recommended: Drive north on Borrego Springs Road to the point where it turns sharply to the right and heads east.  Pull onto the dirt road on the left side of the road right at the turn. Park and walk around to see blooms and scultures.

Arroyo Salado Campground: East on S22 to the Borrego Badlands and Arroyo Salado Campground to see lots of Desert Lilies beyond the last campsite.

Easy Hiking:  In Full Bloom: Henderson Canyon at the west end of Henderson Canyon Road (See Desert Lilies, Chicory, Phacelia, a variety of cactus, metal statues, and mountain views).

Easy Hiking: Little Surprise Canyon on the west end of S22 about one-third mile south of Palm Canyon Drive (Ghost Flowers, Barrel Cactus, Desert Lavender, beautiful rocks and views on the return walk).

See photos at  Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers Update


Anza- Borrego Desert Wildflowers most recent posts

4/8 A return to our loop hiked at 2/1, it was good then, now even better.
The main purpose was to check the flower color of Horsfordia and to count Carlowrightia arizonica.
Carlowrightia arizonica to our surprise were in such good bloom, that they were very easy to spot. We’ve never seen them this big and in full bloom.
Other very good blooming plants: Rock hibiscus, Hibiscus denudatus and Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis arcuata.
The strongest smelling plant of the hike: Catclaw acacia, Senegalia greggii.
Finally blooming Desert woolly star, Eriastrum eremicum eremicum in fair numbers and Wire lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora pauciflora in low numbers.
Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa doing fine, so this happens when they don’t get eaten, they bloom rather long period of time.
Again a close encounter with a rattlesnake.
We found: Carlowrightia arizonica.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 83 + 3 along the Carrizo wash road.
Pictures: Rockhouse canyon – Four Frogs canyon loop

4/7 This hike takes us to the upper part of a Glorietta Canyon fork.
Grass (Red brome, Bromus madritensis rubens) is very dominant in the area, leaving less room for annuals.
In unusual high numbers: Blue Dicks, Spanish houses.
In unusual low numbers: Woolly Star (non found).
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 94
Pictures: Culp Valley – upper Glorietta Canyon loop

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