Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 5, 2019

Borrego Flowers Bloom Prediction & Report 3/5/19

Borrego Wildflowers and a new Bloom prediction and report March 5, 2019

Bloom prediction for the Anza-Borrego Desert updated March 5, 2019:

Will we get a Super Bloom this season? We think not, all indications point to a normal bloom or slightly better. Some isolated areas may have a significantly better 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 is new germination from the February 2019 rain.
March and April bloom will be more wide spread and probably cover most of the park.

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:

Just beyond the end of Di Giorgio Rd asphalt (0.5 mile further) is turning into a nice flower spot.
The Coyote Canyon is now open for 4×4 and most cars can probably get to Desert Garden.

Colorful flower fields along the Hellhole Canyon trail, Hellhole Canyon wash and Flatcat canyon.
Hiking Flatcat with it’s rocks and small boulders takes some effort.
Phacelia distans | Common phacelia , Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow’s monkey flower, Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells, Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat, Eschscholzia parishii | Parish’s poppy.

Fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish’s poppy:
Texas Dip on the south facing slopes, still faint, but might get better.
Very good fields on the 78 at mile 83.4, another field a bit west towards the substation.
Mile 83.4 includes Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow’s monkey flower and Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.

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.
Remember these fields are in bloom since December 2018 and winding down.

The best flower fields, 4×4 high clearance only:
San Felipe wash ‘road’ along East Butte, is still one of the best spots right now, with hundreds of huge Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose in bloom.
From Butte Pass Rd drive south into San Felipe Wash for about 0.5 mile and park.
You might not see much from the ‘road’, but hike east and things change rapidly.

A place that might even be better is in the Ocotillo Wells SVRA, among them an area called Devil’s slide.
Here you find thousands of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose in bloom, mixed with huge field of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.
Best check at the Ocotillo Wells SVRA Discovery Center, get a map and head out.

North:
Henderson Canyon Road is still a couple of weeks from prime bloom, you can find some interesting plants, like Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose and Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower.

Coyote Canyon from DiGiorgio asphalt is now open up to desert garden (4×4 only).
Zero crossing, just beyond the end of Di Giorgio Rd asphalt is turning into a nice flower spot.
South:
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.
Torote canyon is one of the other better flower spots in the south.
East:
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

Mar/04/2019 Travertine Palms

While moving the photos from my phone to my computer, Windows decided to do something and the photos were forever gone.
So gone are the poppy field photos…

The hike is extremely rocky, luckily there are lots of interesting plants.
This area has been dry for some time, so the plant variation is low, still the bloom count is good.
We expanded our plant list enormously. Even after that the list is still pretty short.

Out our route we found several plants that are probably Plagiobothrys jonesii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 75.


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