Will There be a Superbloom This Year?
DesertUSA is predicting that we will have an excellent wildflower season this year. Will it be a superbloom? Time will tell. Some of the best wildflower viewing areas have received a good amount of rain over the past few months. We still have to see how the weather plays out in February. If the early bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in December indicates what is to come, this year’s displays could be phenomenal.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has had two superblooms in the last decade. They occurred in 2017 and 2019. Having two superblooms so close together is a rare occurance. Exceptional displays of wildflowers typically occur every 10 to 15 years.
Death Valley National Park Update: Will there be a superbloom this year? The short answer- is maybe. It is still too early to predict if the storms from the summer 2022 monsoon season will lead to a showy 2023 spring bloom. Generally, superblooms are preceded by fall/winter rains, which we did not receive. However, we have had several storms in January, so it is still possible. We are anticipating an average to above-average bloom this spring, but it remains to be seen if there will be a full superbloom. The most recent hyperblooms in Death Valley occurred in 2016, 2005, and 1998. (NPS)
Early Bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park experienced an early bloom in December of 2022. The Park had rain in October, November, and December. The precipitation, combined with warm temperatures, triggered a winter bloom.
More rain is expected in Borrego Springs on Saturday, Jan. 14th and Monday, Jan. 16th. If Anza-Borrego receives more precipitation in February, this could lead to a spectacular wildflower season in the Park. Stay-tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.
When Will The Wildflowers Bloom?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about desert wildflowers. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult to answer. Each year, the unique combination of sun, wind, water, temperature and elevation sets the stage for the precise location of the best springtime blooms. Use the following information to make your own predictions for this spring’s showing.
Rain is needed in small doses throughout the winter. Too little rain provides a poor climate for seed germination. Too much rain, and the seeds could rot or be washed away. Showers too early or too late in the season may not help the flowers bloom.
Temperature is also critical. Warm days are a good indicator of a full bloom ahead. If the sun gets too hot though, (over 85 degrees F. in February/March) the seeds may become parched and seedlings scorched. Cool nights can assist flower seedlings by slowing the growth of competitors like grasses and mustards. However, very cold temperatures mean bad news for blossoms.
When will the flowers bloom? None of us knows for sure. Each year’s bloom is unique in its variety, profusion and timing. From late February through March, you can find blossoms on the desert floor. To plan your visit to coincide with the peak of the bloom, take advantage of the various wildflower hotlines and information sources available from DesertUSA and the State and National Parks.
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
Wildflower Reports 2023
To read the most current wildflower reports and to view photos, visit DesertUSA’s Wildflower Reports. Reader’s send in reports with location information and photos throughout the wildflower season. You can also see current photos and posts in our Facebook Group Desert Wildflowers & Wildlife.
Share Your Wildflower Photos & Reports with DesertUSA
Please share your wildflower pictures, including the date and location. We will post your photos on our Wildflower Reports page, so others can learn where and when to view the spectacular displays.
There are several ways to submit your photos and information to DesertUSA’s Wildflower Reports.
- 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 image, the date, and how you would like us to give you photo credit (first name, etc.)
- Text your photos and report to 760-740-1787
- Share your photos and report on DesertUSA’s Wildflowers Facebook Group.
Scan QR Code to go to Desert Wildflowers Facebook Group to post your photos.