Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 30, 2019

Anza- Borrego Wildflower Updates 1/29/19

Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association has these recent reports

January 29 Goat Trail to Blowsands to San Felipe Wash to Hawk Canyon.  They say flowers were widespread, especially  in the higher elevations of Goat Trail and Blowsands.  Lots of brown-eyed evening primroses, popcorn flowers, pincushions, blooming indigo bushes, sunflowers, chicory, spanish needles.

areas covered in Brown-eyed primrose, with a strong scent in the air from the blooming indigo bush, and dozens of Desert five spot ready to bloom.  Sand verbena, broad leaf gilia, and desert lily, are all in bloom, in this area

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

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers reports bloom prediction, January 28,2019

Indication are positive for a normal bloom in the months to come, wait we already have a very good winter bloom.
WARNING: The word Super Bloom is often misused by the news and others to attract visitors.
A very good bloom (Super) is generally a once in a 10-20 year event, not every other year.

That said, it takes rain at the right amount/moment in time, this years 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 additional 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 band of flowers is narrow, but better hiking farther 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

Additional info:
Anza-Borrego Desert SP Bloom page
ABDNHA Bloom page

Jan/28/2019 Ironwood East Butte loop

Finding so many plants in bloom close by, this otherwise dry area had to be checked.
The area is covered with Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, by the thousands, they are everywhere.
The smell today is strong from Psorothamnus schottii | Indigo bush and Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower and the thousands of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose.
Another Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot home, with dozens of mostly big plants ready to bloom.

Really big Phacelia crenulata minutiflora | Littleflowered heliotrope phacelia and Achyronychia cooperi, Frost mat carpeting the rest of the desert floor.
Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena is growing into enormous plants and still in good bloom.
Many Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in bloom along our route.
Always great to find a new bunch of Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple eyed brittlebush, they seem to be far more widespread than we previously expected.
Hardly visible small Allionia incarnata incarnata, much smaller than we generally find.
Our favorite Aliciella latifolia latifolia, Broad leaf gilia is now in good bloom, with flowers no longer affected by the frost.

We were attracted by what seemed to be a sandy hillside spot with Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
Deviating from our preplanned route to this inviting location.
Buzzing, bees? A swarm of hundreds (probably a low count) leaving the hive close by, on their way and luckily not interested in us.
WOW, no way Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in good bloom everywhere, probably close to 100 plants.

Finally our first Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot, we have a big disadvantage, we always start early, often too early, for late in the day blooming plant. When it warms up, we’ll get our change to see more in bloom.
Nice to see so many Dalea mollis | Silky dalea and the plants like most are unusually big.


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