Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 27, 2019

Anza- Borrego Wildflower Updates 1/26/19

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park reports

Wildflower Update January 26, 2019

Some early flowers responding to fall rains are still blooming along County Road S-22 east of mile marker 30. With 4W drive or walking, you can see flowers in Arroyo Salado and Coachwhip Canyon.

Coyote Canyon, between first and second crossings, also has blooms.

When flower season is good, as this year could be, the widespread bloom often happens in late February and early March, with some flowers persisting into April. Unfortunately, we can’t predictexactly when and how many flowers there will be.

For maps and directions, call the Visitor Center at 760-767-4205 or come in and speak with one of our volunteers.

Enjoy the flowers!

Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association has these recent reports

July 26 Smoketree Wash, which is just east of Coachwhip Wash, along highway S22. See our map.  More early blooms.  Pigmy poppies, sand verbena, ground cherry, desert sunflower, and more.

July 25  Arroyo Salado campground.  There are lots of patches like this in that area.  Some of the patches are heavy with sand verbena, others are mostly sunflowers, and there are areas of desert lilies here and there that should bloom in about a week or so

See photos at and older reports at Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association

 California Wildflower Report  has the following report from Anza-Borrego Wildflowers Guide  including  photos

We are almost in flower overload right now, so much to see.
Grave Wash area.

See photos and older reports at  California Wildflower Report

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers reports

Bloom prediction, updated January 26 2019Indication are positive for a normal bloom in the months to come.
WARNING: The word Super Bloom is often misused by the news and others to attract visitors.
A very good bloom (Super) is a once in a >10 year event and right now we are still in a severe drought.

That said, it takes rain at the right amount/moment in time, this year timing is very good for a great winter bloom.
Unfortunately these plants don’t live forever, some flowers only bloom once a day.
We have big plants and flower carpets in a couple of areas, from the October 2018 thunderstorm and a next wave of plants from the December 2018 rain.
To get a really good bloom we need rain, lots of it.

We still have a way above average bloom in the badlands and some other areas mentioned below.

Easy access flower sites:
Drive from Borrego Spring -> Salton sea on the S22. Start looking past the marked Palo Verde Wash but stay on the S22. The center is around Ella Wash, Arroyo Salado (camp) exit.
Drive into Arroyo Salado (camp), here the flower fields are great, or drive into Coachwhip canyon on the north side of the S22.

Along the Henderson Canyon Road hundreds of large Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower, some already in bloom. The bank of flower is narrow, but better hiking further North.
Coyote Canyon: Fouquieria splendens | splendens Ocotillo in good bloom along the road.
Along the creek more than 50 plants are in bloom, like Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, but further away from the creek the area is rather barren.
The area between Henderson Canyon road and Zero crossing looks promising as there is a lot of germination.
The Canebrake area (Ironwood canyon, June Wash, Vallecito wash) a lot of plants don’t look that happy. The frost and lack of rain are probably the cause, but with the recent rain.
Most visible bloom: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena.
From and including Rattlesnake canyon along the S22.
One of the highlights along the S22 close to Arroyo Salado (camp), Ella Wash.

Confirmed germination and flowering plants:
Ocotillo Wells, Blow Sand Canyon, Cut Across Road, Military wash, 17 palms, Arroyo Salado (camp), east of Ella Wash, Palm Wash, Big Wash, Travertine Wash.
Palo Verde Wash, Smoketree Canyon, Rattlesnake canyon.

San Felipe wash ‘road’ along East Butte, is one of the best spots right now, with hundreds of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose in bloom.
Most visible bloom: Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose (hundreds early in the day), Abronia villosa villosa| Desert sand verbena.
Some Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily are in bloom, with probably more to follow.
Rain effects are visible east of the line Thimble trail (S22) up to Ironwood resort (78).

Check out Tom Chester bloom report

Jan/25/2019 Arroyo salado loop2

This area is close to the October thunderstorm area, but it seems this is just past the edge.

One of the goals was to check for Euphorbia ocellata, but we often have more luck finding something on a random hike.
We were very pleased to find our first complete Erodium texanum | Texas filaree flower.
A lot of the route takes us into prime badlands, so the flower count is very good for such a place.


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