Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 12, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 2/11/19

Botanical Wandering- California has the following update along 25 photos with from Anza-Borrego Wildflowers Guide

Smoketree Canyon is one of the better flower canyons.
A great number of plants in bloom, don’t expect flower carpets.

Anza- Borrego Desert Wildflowers reports

Bloom prediction for the Anza Borrego Desert elevations below 3000 feet:

Will we get a Super Bloom this season? We think NOT, all indications point to a normal bloom.

The great winter bloom (first bloom cycle) from the October 2018 rain, sometimes surpassing the 2017 Super bloom is beginning to wind down, as most annuals have a finite lifetime, no matter how much water, sun and nutrients you give them.

The second bloom cycle from the December 2018 rain is growing but it’s not going to be as good as the Winter bloom, unless we are get significant additional rain.
March and April bloom will be more wide spread and probably cover most of the park,
A better than normal bloom can still happen, but for now a normal bloom is likely.
It will almost certainly be better than spring 2018.

A lot of things can happen, like cold weather, very warm weather, rain or no rain.
Don’t forget the caterpillars, when they show up in force, whole areas may be DOOMED.

We still have a way above average bloom (> 50 different plants and over 180 in the whole park) 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.
Zero crossing, just beyond the end of Di Giorgio Rd asphalt is turning into a nice flower spot.
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 (very good), Rattlesnake canyon.

Palo Verde Wash is very good about 2 miles south of the S22 close to were it meets the Ella Wash, 4×4 only or a nice hike.
San Felipe wash ‘road’ along East Butte, is still one of the best spots right now, with hundreds of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose in bloom.
Most visible bloom: Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower, Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose (hundreds early in the day), Abronia villosa villosa| Desert sand verbena.
A good number of Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily are in bloom.
Another great spot, one of the best, is the south end of Fault Wash, on the East and West side. !!This is the off-road area!!!
Rain effects (the best flowers) 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

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