Desert Wildflowers Nevada - Utah
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2015 Wildflower Reports
April 23 2015 Arches National Park Reports: cactus are already blooming in Moab, so they'll be bursting into color up at the park's elevations over the next few weeks. Get your macros ready!
April 11 2015 Arches National Park Reports:Plants and blooms are growing greener by the day, so our vegetation crew will be out in the field this week monitoring spring growth.
April 10 2015 Geoff Reports: I-15, between Glendale and Mesquite: on my way back from Death Valley last weekend, I made a couple side trips. First, got off at the Carp/Elgin exit and took the frontage road north of the freeway, heading east - WOW! To the north is an amazing display of mostly yellow (Suncups? Desert Marigold?), with plenty of dune primrose mixed in, plus a few others
Continuing east, the road then turns north and becomes a dirt/gravel road that is well-maintained and suitable for all vehicles. I went another 12 miles or so (approximate!) to 'The Summit' (as it's called on my map, at EL 3737'). Just over the summit, there's some room to pull over on the right (east) and get out and explore. This side of the road has a nice variety of flowers, especially in washes, but sometimes the terraces above washes have nice surprises too.
And if you like cactus flowers, they're just getting started (I've been here before, great for cactus blooms!). I'd bet this area is good for a couple more weeks, may be getting even better over the next week or so. The same goes for my 2nd side trip to the Gold Butte / Whitney Pockets area, getting off at the I-15 170/Riverside exit south of Mesquite and taking the Gold Butte Rd (another well-maintained 2WD/low clearance road) to Whitney Pockets (about 25 miles?). Didn't spend much time here either, but another nice, healthy variety of flowers if you get out and explore - (again, hike up a wash and see what you can find!). If it's becoming dried out by the time you get there, no worries, just continue on the main road (staying left) and head for the higher elevations. There's a couple turnoffs on the left on the way to Whitney Pass that should be nice for a few weeks.
April 6 2015 Diane Reports: April 4, 2015 – Cottonwood Cove Road and the Road to Nelson, NV. Both roads had beautiful displays of numerous species of wildflowers. Alongside the Cottonwood Cove Road, plants that were in abundance included globe mallow, desert marigold, purplemat, beavertail cactus, mohave aster, fiddle neck, lupine, and phacelia. Behind the motel at Cottonwood Cove, along the dirt road up the hillside, cholla were in bloom, along with desert primrose and sand verbena. The hillsides on the road to Nelson were thickly covered with globe mallow, as well as blanked with numerous plants with white and yellow blooms. Huge rock nettle was found on the road past Nelson near the water, on the cliffs alongside the road. Beautiful cholla in bloom, as well as rosy two toned penstemon. The display this year is much more than in past years – just beautiful right now! Below are photos of a cholla in bloom and a rosy two toned penstemon.
April 6 2015 Bill Reports: Took this shot this week in Cedar Pocket in the Gorge on I-15. Looks like last week for prime time.
Above same area 3/30/15
April 03, 2015 Liz Reports: A small group of us identified 64 species on Fossil Ridge in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on the morning of 4/1/15 in southern NV outside Las Vegas. Below is a cluster of 4 Straggling mariposa lilies, Calochortus flexuosus, Liliaceae. Last year, I saw just a few on the ridge. Right now, there are hundreds and hundreds!!!!
Mar 31, 2015 Rick and Margarita report: The North Shore ROAD on the west side of Lake Mead from Overton, NV, 3/29 to Echo Bay Marina and on to Calville Bay Marina is lined with tons of flowers especially Overton to Echo Bay. HUGE bunches of Brittlebush line the road and some draws. Lots of huge Desert Sunflowers, some past peak, others just starting. Also seeing cactus, globe mallow, Mojave Aster, Sand Blazing Star, Desert Marigold. And one of my favorites, the Las Vegas Bear Poppy (Arctomecon Californica) If you see a plant with yellow flowers blooming in an area all by itself, in the harshest, driest, gypsum laden soil, then it might be a bear poppy. They also have especially fuzzy hairy light bluish grey basal leaves. Very unique. Calville Bay to Henderson looks pretty much all dried out.
Mar 30, 2015 Arches NP reports: Look closely along park roadsides and trailheads and you'll find Dwarf Evening Primrose blooming in shady areas. This delicate flower "blushes" from bright white to soft pink after it has been pollinated by hungry hawkmoths or busy bees. (photo by Ranger Tim Hopp)
Mar 30, 2015 Rick and Margarita report: Rick and Margarita report: Saturday the 28th from the I-15 / US93 junction to Morman Well Rd. is very nice right now. Lots of flowers line the road. Prickly poppy, globe mallow, desert marigold, cactus. Leaving 93 and proceeding half way up Morman Well road is very very nice. LOTS of globe mallow. In fact, globe mallow absolutely dominates everywhere. Great year for them. More Marigold, cactus, phacelia, early indigo bush, and a small yeallow ground flower. Last half of road up to the top very very few flowers. It is very dry and hot. Won't last much longer.
Mar 29. 2015 Eric reports: Saturday, March 28th at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Off State Hwy 14 inside Red Rock Canyon in the Ricardo Campground. The orange wildflowers were seen on the West side of Hwy 14 just south of Red Rock Canyon Park. The Ricardo Campground is next to the Visitor Center inside the park.
The Park Ranger reported good wildflowers next to Tamarisk Grove, but we found that not to be true. The blue lupines—which were growing around the grove--have gone to seed.
Mar 26. 2015 Paul reports: No photos just many flowers on North Shore Road at Lake Mead today March 27, 2015. There are flowers all over however in the area from Red Stone to Rogers Springs they are profuse.Please tell us where and when you took your photos.
Mar 26. 2015 Beverly reports: Road to Willow Springs in Red Rock Conservation outside Lass Vegas.
Mar 20. 2015 Shawn reports: Just returned from a trip to the Lake Mead NRA. Hiking near the Anniversary Mine and Narrows had some flowers just beginning to bloom - but some really nice beavertail cactus were putting on a show. The hit of the trip however, was the Railway Tunnels Trail from Alan Bible Visitor Ceneter to the Dam, it was ablaze in Brittlebush and a smaller yellow flower (possibly desert wallflower or Bladderpod). Also the cactus were showing off and the (apricot?) mallow were starting to bloom. The creosote was going full strength. Something short and white that reminded me of yarrow but was probably pepperweed and some small purple flowers that might have been verbena rounded out the nearly complete color spectrum. The short (3.5 mile) trail with views of Lake Mead and the marina, the old tunnels and historic sites, and the current excellent flower bloom makes it a great destination for a day hike from Las Vegas.
Mar 20. 2015 Beverly reports: On March 19, 2015, we took a drive on Cold Creek Road north of Las Vegas looking for wild horses..we found a desert full of Joshua trees, many in bloom...oh yes, we found the horses too.
Mar 20. 2015 Liz reports: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, has many flowers on the trails. Here are a few photos. Desert snowberry, Desert Rock Cress and Desert Wall Flower
Mar 17, 2015 Beverly reports: These pics were taken on March 15, 2015. The Prickly Pear was taken along the road that leads down to Callville Marina in Lake Mead NRA. The yellow flowers were taken on the same day along the Northshore Road in Lake Mead NRA.
Mar 16, 2015 Rick and Margarita report: Saturday we drove from Lake Mead Blvd. in Henderson on the North Shore Drive west side of Lake Mead to Red Stone picnic area. Flowers are sparse. May be more to come. Will check again next week. Did see some of the large sun flower looking plants that are always out there. Some brittlebrush, creosote, small cactus and a few others blooming. The best area we found was right in our backyard at the Visitors Center to Lake Mead off highway 93. All around the hiking trails. Railroad Pass trail. And from the Visitor Center towards the Lake Mead Blvd intersection. As you can see from the photos, giant brittlebrush and some very nice cactus blooms. Also creosote, octillo, and globemallow.
Mar 16, 2015 Beverly Reports: This photo was takenon March 14, 2015 on Pipe Spring Road off of Christmas Tree Pass in Lake Mead National Recreation Are, NV.
Mar 13, 2015 Liz Reports: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas--in the Oak Creek/Potato Knoll area off Rt 159
1. Rusty Lupine, Lupinus pusillus, Fabaceae, plants in abundance but just a few beginning to bloom like the one here (blue flower)
2. Wallace Woolly Leaf, Eriophyllum wallacei, Asteraceae, many plants coming to the surface and observed about 10 in full bloom (yellow flower)
Mar 11, 2015 David Reports: I was out looking for flowers again today (Tuesday) and last Saturday. I saw no great flower fields but found two flowers that aren't in my books, I guess I need more books. The First one is from Tuesday in the DNWR off Mormon well road, 9 miles in. The other one is from the Red Rock area last Saturday area off Kraft Mountain loop. Any help identifying them would be appreciated.
Mar 11, 2015 Jim Reports: I drove down to Gold Butte, Nevada last Saturday, March 7, and was amazed at the floral display this early in the season. In the Whitney Pockets area there were whole fields of poppies extending from the roadway up to the mountains. I haven't seen anything like this here since the Spring of 2008. Also, it looks like another banner year for Joshua trees and Mojave yucca. I've attached a small selection of flower images, including golden and birdcage evening primroses, sand verbena, lupine, phacelia, desert marigold (just coming out), chickory, desert almond, and others that are unknown to me. And, of course, the poppies, Joshua trees, and Mojave yuccas. I'll be going down again next Monday (as well as at least once a week until the season is over), so I'll send you reports probably on a weekly basis.
For those who don't know where Gold Butte is, proceed northeast from Las Vegas on I-15 (or southwest from Mesquite, Nevada) to Exit 112, the Bunkerville exit. Proceed south about two miles to the Virgin River and, after crossing the river, immediately turn right onto the Gold Butte Road. One will find wildflowers alongside or near the road for the next 30 miles to Whitney Pockets. The road, though pretty worn, is passable to regular automobiles. To give a feeling for its location, Whitney Pockets is directly east of Valley of Fire State Park but on the other side of Lake Mead.
Incidentally, during the past two weeks we've had about two feet of snow here in Cedar City, so I won't have a report on the wildflowers here for awhile.
Mar 6, 2015 Liz Reports: Seen 3/5/15 near Oak Creek at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in southern Nevada:
Little Mojave Poppy/Little Golden Poppy, Eschsholia miutiflora, Papveraceae
Mar 4, 2015 Liz Reports: The photo posted by David 3/1 with the little white flower at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas is Wedge Leaf, Draba cuneifolia, Brassicaceae.
Yesterday, I found these at RRCNCA in Calico Basin: Both are rare in RRC and of conservation concern. The first are Pretty Shooting Stars, Dodecatheon pulchellum, Primulaceae The 2nd is the Funnel Lily, Androstephium breviflorum, Liliaceae
Mar 1, 2015 David Reports: Hiiking around Red Rock outside Las Vegas on the 28th. Penstemon,
yellow throat and a very small (2-3 mm) white flower i don't know.
Feb 20, 2015 Oliver Reports: A friend and I hiked up to the high point of the Cedar Mountains (which is the next range west of the Stansbury Range across from Skull Valley. We hiked from the west side up one ridge and did not see a single flower in bloom. I kept telling my friend that there should be flowers - milkvetch, lomatium, oenothera, something. But we didn't see a single flower. I made sure we came down a different ridge to cover more ground and about 3/4 of the way down we ran into a huge patch of Anderson's buttercup. My friend couldn't believe it after all the fuss i was making about not seeing anything. Here are some pics.
The Cedar mountains can easily be accessed via a BLM Dirt road heading south at the Aragonite Exit of I-80 (exit 55?). The road is paved for 2 miles to the Araganite plant - you then head a mile or so to a BLM Register. The dirt road heads to the south and parallels the entire range.
Feb 16, 2015 Sallie Reports: A few sun cups and bitter bush are showing along Willow Beach Road off Highway 93 between Las Vegas and Kingman. The whole area is very green and looks promising for a good display in a few weeks.
Feb 9, 2015 Beth Reports: These Joshua trees beginning to bloom were taken on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in the Gold Butte area of Nevada at Whitney Pockets.
Feb 1, 2015 Zion NP Reports: Rainy, beautiful day in Zion! Got rain on the last few days of Jan.
Feb 1, 2015 DUSA Reports: Rain in Arches and Cayonlands last week.
Jan 12, 2015 DUSA Reports: Some rain fell in the Nevada on Sunday and the rain is working it way into Utah. May help the wildfower season.
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