Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 16, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflower Updates 2/16/19

Botanical Wandering- California has a post for Di Giorgio Rd North, 0.6 mile beyond the asphalt with 15 photos

Anza-Borrego State Park reports

With almost seven inches of rain since July, we anticipate widespread bloom of flowers in late February and early March. Some flowers are blooming along S22 east of mile marker 30, in response to heavy fall rains in that area. Heavy rains this week may allow many plants to grow larger before blooming, extending the season.

2.8 inches of rain in the recent storm has damaged roads and trails, but may very well extend the blooming season by allowing plants to continue to grow larger.

Heading east on S-22, look for early blooms along the roadside and in the washes & canyons between mile 33 and 35. There is a large pullout between miles 30 and 31 with room for parking near a field of purple sand verbena.

If you park and walk into Arroyo Salado, Coachwhip Canyon, or Ella Wash, you’llfind a wide variety of flowers, including sand verbena, desert sunflower, brown- eyed evening primrose, and lupine. These flowers are blooming in response to fall storms in this area, and may be nearing their peak. There are many Desert lilies in bloom in Arroyo Salado primitive camp, with many more in bud.

CAUTION: Most roads into the Borrego Badlands require four-wheel-drive!

Check out the mouth of Coyote Canyon at the end of DiGiorgio Road, north of Borrego Springs. The Lower Coyote Canyon road is CLOSED to all traffic due to flooding from recent rains, but flower-seekers may walk a short distance up the road to see sand verbena. Walking along the private road heading east will take you to a field with desert sunflowers, lupine, sand verbena, and dune primrose.

For maps and directions, call the Visitor Center at 760-767-4205.

For guided flower walks on Fridays, reserve your spot with the Anza-Borrego Foundation at 760-767-0446.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA is also experiencing an early bloom due to heavy rain in thefall. Visitors with 4WD can check out The Cove, Devil’s Slide, Palm Wash, andTarantula Wash. Those without 4WD vehicles should visit the OWSVRA Discovery Center, and walk the accessible trail to see a variety of things in bloom.


Anza- Borrego Desert Wildflowers  Bloom prediction, updated February 16 2019

Will we get a Super Bloom this season? We think MAYBE, all indications point to a better than normal bloom.
The amount of relevant rain is now a least equal to the good spring of 2017, what some called a Super 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 and there will be new germination from the February 2019 rain.
March and April bloom will be more wide spread and probably cover most of the park.
The word Super Bloom is widely used for anything more than a couple of flowers, but this is going to be a good to a maybe very good flower season.

Very warm weather might spoil things.
Don’t forget the caterpillars, when they show up in force, whole areas may be DOOMED.

When will the bloom peak? Most likely middle of March – beginning of April, depending on temperature and rain.

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.
May still be muddy, the best flowers are about 0.5 further north along the dirt road.
The Coyote Canyon road suffered damage from heavy flooding, and is closed to all vehicle (including bicycles) and horse traffic. But you can park at the end of the pavement (north end of DiGiorgio Rd) and take a short walk to a wide variety of flowers.

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.
Warning Coyote Canyon from DiGiorgio asphalt is now officially closed until further notice, maybe until 3/15/2019, the closure doesn’t includes foot travel up to the creek.
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

Feb/16/2019 Palo Verde Ella Wash loop

While driving in Palo Verde wash we were surprised by the good fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena on both sides of the canyon wall.
This is still a wonderful area for a hike.
On an unexpected pleasant day with sunshine and not too much wind.
Palo Verde Wash is good, Ella Wash is ok, Coachwhip is again good with fields of Lupinus arizonicus | Arizona lupine.
A fairly short and easy loop for a change.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 65.


  1. Headed down to AB 25-28th to have a look, may be very good to excellent.



    Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 9:55 PM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: