Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 27, 2018

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 12/25/18

Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

December 25, 2018
First Flower Forecast:  2019 Flower Season
Anyone who has read our flower forecasts in the past knows that a desert wildflower bloom is a hard thing to predict, especially early in the season.  That said, things are looking very positive right now for an excellent wildflowers bloom this season.  In fact, there are some wildflowers blooming right now – more about that later – see below.  As for the spring forecast, we had a heavy rain in mid December that percolated down deep into the soil, and we had another light rain yesterday.  If this pattern of rain continues into January / February all the conditions will exist for an excellent bloom in 2019. 

The big question we always get is When will it happen?  Typically the peak of a wildflower bloom in the Borrego Valley is in March, and generally in the first half.  But the weather so far this season has some wildflower prognosticators thinking that we could see an earlier peak bloom this year, maybe in February.  If the rain comes (as has been the case so far this winter), then the bloom will come when temperatures warm up in Springtime.  When is Springtime?  It’s when the temperatures warm up!  That’s generally March but it sometimes happens in February.  So keep posted.

As far as right now is concerned, we have had the rain and we have also had consistent warm days and that has given us unusual winter blooms in some areas.  These are not the expansive fields of flowers that we see in the spring but there are some pretty impressive winter blooms taking place right now in some areas.  Marcy Yates reports, “There are wide swaths of verbena blooming around Yuma, AZ.  We also saw a few brown-eyed primroses and desert sunflowers along Hwy 78 starting from just before the Ocotillo Wells Recreational Vehicle Area going east until almost Hwy 86.”

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