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Joshua Tree National Park

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2014 Joshua Tree Wildflower Reports

Dec 1, 2014 DUSA Reports: Rain is expected this week in the park.

May 11, 2014 DUSA reports: Some cactus still blooming near north entrance and the Geology trails,

May 5, 2014 Daniel reports: I only had about 5 hours to look around and hike but the best concentration of wildflowers that I saw were at Queen Valley at the intersection of Park Blvd & the dirt road going north of Geology Trail (which I think is Queen Valley Road) going toward Barker Dam. Pictures taken 4/26.

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wildflowers

April 28, 2014 Pam reports: Taken 4/26 at the park.

cactus
cactus

April 18, 2014 Mary reports: Still lots of flowers to see in the north part of the park:
INDIAN COVE - On the Nature Trail and along the roadside I counted 25+ species of flowers in bloom ranging from Desert Dandelion, Datura, Chicory, Hole-in-the Sand and the parasite Scaly-Stemmed Sand Plant. Beavertail Prickly Pear, Cholla and Hedgehog cactuses are coming into bloom.

WEST ENTRANCE - Some of the flowers on the hills were fading, but parts of washes were carpeted with flowers including Woolly Daisy, Desert Dandelion, Scale Bud, Purple Mat, Desert Star, Tickseed and Chia. Desert Woolly Star and Calico are having an especially good year. An easy spot to get to a wash is down from the West Entrance station.

QUEEN VALLEY - The road that starts north of Geology Trail and Park Boulevard and goes to Barker Dam has, at both ends, patches of bright yellow Desert Marigold and purple Desert Verbena, with a number of other interesting annuals. At sunset, on the end of the road by Park Blvd., I watched hundreds of Evening Primroses open up.
BOY SCOUT TRAIL - The beginning part of the trail (from Park Blvd.) is pretty with the Joshua trees rising above Desert Dandelions and Pincushions. On close look there were also White-Stemmed Blazing Star, Shining Blazing Star, Rattlesnake Weed and Mojave Sun Cups.

49 PALMS - This trail is quite dry with only a few flowers. It was, however, the only place in the park I found Rock Daises and Trailing Windmills blooming.

Scaly-Stemmed Sand Plant at Indian Cove
Scaly-Stemmed Sand Plant at Indian Cove
Desert Star and Woolly Daisy at West Entrance
Desert Star and Woolly Daisy at West Entrance
Calico at West Entrance
Calico at West Entrance
Desert Marigold in Queen Valley
Desert Marigold in Queen Valley

April 15, 2014 Joshua Tree NP reports: The west entrance still has the showiest colors with the yellow flowers of the desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), desert marigold (Phoradendron californicum), and white blooms of the tufted evening primrose (Oeothera californica ssp californica). Many shrubs, including desert senna (Senna armata), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana) and paper bag bush (Scutellaria Mexicana) are in bloom. The yellow flowers of the palo verde (Parkinsonia florida) are starting to bloom south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center.

April 5, 2014 Jimbo reports: Sheilah and Anna's posts were right on the money. The best display of wildflowers at Joshua Tree National Park were just a few miles in from the West Entrance to the park We hiked down one wash and then back up another. There was quite a variety of flowers there. Not the carpets we saw at Saddleback Butte, but decent nonetheless. We also went to the Hidden Valley nature trail. Usually this has a nice display of wildflowers. Not this year, though. About the only thing in bloom was several claret cup cacti.

April 1, 2014 Anna reports: We visited Joshua Tree today, March 30. The best flowers were in the western part. We started from the western entrance where there were small sheets of yellow. I found about 20 species though many were tiny.

The cacti were impossible to miss. This on was on the road edge.

cactus

Verbena covered very small areas off Queen Valley Road (good dirt) and the beginning of the Geology Trail. There were lots of dune evening primroses - finishing in the afternoon.

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flower

Mar 29, 2014 DUSA reports: West entrance has the best flowers at this time.

Mar 23, 2014 Sheilah reports: Joshua Tree March 19/14 just into the west park gate - approximately 3 miles. All kinds of wildflowers. :)

wildflowers
Below at Joshua Tree - Hidden Valley area.
wildflowers

Mar 17, 2014 Gerhard reports: Pictures I shot in Joshua Tree 3/16/14. Location: Left and right of the Dessert Queen Mine Road, only a few hundred feet from the paved Park Blvd. Thanks for posting Wildflower news. I have been following this website for years to spot them.

wildflowers
wildflowers
wild

Mar 22, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: Various species of cactus are beginning to bloom throughout the park, including the beavertail prickly pear cactus (Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris) and Mojave mound (Echinocereus mojavensis). Watch the cholla cactus garden for a few teddybear cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) just starting to show their colors.

The bright red flowers of the ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) are in full bloom in the Pinto Basin and south of the Cottonwood Visitor Center at the Bajada nature trail.

Mar 17, 2014 Rebecca reports: Probably not as dense as a good year, but Joshua tree had flowers which made me delighted. Had to look a little harder, but that's the fun of the hunt. Here's a bunch from the park west park entrance.

flowersflowers
flowers
flowers
Below photos taken in the Ocotillo patch at Joshua TreeOcotillo patch at Joshua Tree.
Ocotillo patch at Joshua Tree

Mar 14, 2014 Jim reports: Explored the south entrance at Cottonwood Spring and Pinto Basin Road area, not many wildflowers that can be seen from the road. Not much rain in the area. Found a few wildflowers.

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Sand Blazing Star
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Canterbury bells

Mar 14, 2014 Gregg reports: ...went into Joshua Tree National Park yesterday (3/12). As per their post last week, the area around the west entrance - inside and out of the park - was flowery. Most of the usual suspects from the Landers/Giant Rock area were there in good number, plus California evening primrose (rather than Dune evening primrose), desert star (which was just beginning to bloom), desert gold poppies, and flat top buckwheat (which was also just beginning to bloom). Also found a single desert Canterbury bells there. The best spot in this area might have been about 1 mile into the park, where there is a sandy pullout just before a wiggly road ahead sign. On that same side of the road there is a hill down into a wash; there is a really nice variety of flowers there.

We went in as far the Geology Tour Rd - occasional odds and ends, mostly milkvetch, can be seen along the road on the way. As you start down that road there is a nice display of desert marigolds, desert sand verbena, and some evening primrose; at the bottom of the road (a few miles in), where the road becomes a one-way loop (and you should have 4-wheel drive for this), the desert marigolds, desert sand verbena and evening primrose put on a real colorful 1960s psychedelic show, possibly the most colorful display I've seen this year. I also found several very small Schott's calico. Some were pale yellow/off white; some were blue. Below are photos of California evening primrose, Desert sand verbena, and Desert Canterbury bells.

Wildflower
wildflower
Wildflower

Mar 14, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: Watch the Lower Covington Flats area of the park for a variety of blooms just starting to show their colors. Look for the yellow flowers of the desert fiddleneck (Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata), desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), as well as the white flowers of Steve’s pincushion and whitedaisy tidytips (Layia glandulosa).

Mar 8, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: With the recent rainfall, there are some new plants showing their colors and more flowers coming into bloom. Look for the yellow flowers of the desert fiddleneck (Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata) and western tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata ssp.ochroleuca) along the west entrance.

Look closely for the pink flowers of the beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris) along the West Entrance and in Wilson Canyon. Farther south, the red blooms of the ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) are showing bright along the Pinto Basin Road, Cottonwood Basin, and next to the Bajada nature trail.

Feb 28, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: The white flowers of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) are blooming along the Wall Street Mill trail. Watch for the purple flowers of Sand verbena (Abronia villosa var. villosa) blooming along the road at West Entrance and the Desert Queen Mine Road. Look for the yellow flowers of the Desert rock pea (Acmispon rigidus) at West Entrance, Hidden Valley, and Cottonwood Basin area.

The yellow bladderpod (Peritoma arborea) bushes and the yellow creosote (Larrea tridentata) bushes along Pinto Basin Road, as well as the red flower of the chuparosa (Justicia californica) bushes, south of Cottonwood Visitor Center, are still visible from the road. It is raining in parts of the park today.

Feb 28, 2014 Susan reports: A few flowers are popping up in JTNP. Joshua Tree Blooms scattered about with some concentration around Quail Springs Picnic Area. Below are some shots of what’s currently found on the 49 Palms Oasis Trail.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildflowers

 

Feb 21, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: The wildflower bloom in Joshua Tree National Park is still developing slowly, but steadily. Watch for the white flowers of the Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) blooming in the Indian Cove area. On the Split Rock loop trail, the purple flowers of scorpion weed (Phacelia crunulata) are blooming near Face Rock and in the surrounding washes. When traveling th rough the Pinto Basin area, look closely for the white blooms of th e sacred datura (Datura wrightii) and the red blooms of the ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens).

Things are developing at a faster pace in Cottonwood Canyon, with 40 species re ported. The yellow bladderpod (Peritoma arboreal bushes and the yellow creosote (Larrea tridentata) bushes along Pinto Basin Road, as well as the red flower of the chuparosa Uusticia califo rnica) bushes, south of Cottonwood Visitor Center, are visible from the road.

 

Feb 15, 2014 Joshua Tree Park reports: The wildflower bloom in Joshua Tree National Park is getting off to a slow to start this year following some dry months. The yellow flowers of the bladderpod (Peritoma arborea) bushes are visible along Pinto Basin Road, the red flower of the chuparosa (Justicia californica) bushes south of Cottonwood Visitor Center are visible from the road, and the blue flowers of the canterbury bells (Phacelia campanularia) are blooming in Cottonwood basin. Possibly due to the freezing temperatures in December, we do have Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) blooming at Black Rock, West Entrance, Hidden Valley, and the Barker Dam area.

Feb 6, 2014 DUSA reports: Wildflowers can begin blooming in the lower elevations of the Pinto Basin and along the park’s south boundary in February. No wildflower reports to date, very dry.

Jan 30, 2014 - Mitch reports: These photos seem a little like a canary in a coal mine, so it is with mixed feelings I offer for your viewers Desert Canterbury Bells and Apricot Mallow. Now this may look like last spring or it may seem as if these are from a very low elevation. Each were shot above 4,000’ in Joshua Tree National Park, January 25, 2014, near Jumbo Rocks.

The good news is there is enough water in places for flowers to bloom, albeit way too early for my liking. There certainly is enough warmth for them to bloom. An early “Happy February” to you!

Wildflower
wildflower

Jan 21, 2014 - DUSA reports: Some creosote bushes have started to bloom, the teddy bear cholla are also green. Still no rain in the forecast. Next free admission days at the park February 15-17, Presidents Day weekend

Jan 13, 2014 - DUSA reports: California has entered its third consecutive dry winter, with no sign of moisture on the horizon. No rain has fallen in Joshua Tree this year and there is no rain in the forecast. The weather is warm and there are lots of things to see in the park. Let's hope that we get some rain for the wildflowers soon. The rain we did get late last year helped the Joshua trees and cactuses to bloom.

bird ravin

Spring Blooming Periods

Lower Elevations: 1,000 – 3,000 feet
Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—February, March, and April
Cacti—March, April, and May

Higher Elevations: 3,000 – 5,000 feet

Joshua Trees and Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—March, April, and May
Cacti—April, May, and June

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When will the desert wildflowers bloom?
We start our report in January, plan your visit to coincide with the peak of the bloom - keep up to date with DesertUSA's Wildflower Reports. Be sure to bookmark this page for weekly updates.

We'd like to see your pictures too. E-mail your digital photos and reports to Jim@desertusa.com. Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date. We will post them on our wildflower reports. Thanks for your support and photos.

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