South part of Joshua Tree National Park
Photos taken between the exit from I-10 and the Cottonwood Spring Visitor’s Center
The blooms are just starting to open in the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. There were scattered brittlebush, chuparosa, bladderpod, ocotillo and barrel cactus in bloom. The chia and dandelions were abundant and covered the ground in full bloom. There were a few fiddlenecks just getting ready to open and I saw a few rock daisies. I saw more beavertail cactus with buds than with open flowers. Only a few of the ocotillo were in bloom and I only encountered a few barrel cactus in bloom.
There are many brittlebush, beavertail cactus and globemallow that are bearing buds that have not yet opened. I would say that the bloom is at about 25%. I would predict that the peak bloom is one to two weeks away.
As I drove in from Indio, CA along the I-10 the interstate was lined with yellow brittlebush, apricot globe mallow, lupine and scattered beavertail in peak bloom. Only a short distance from the exit to southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park the blooms are still waiting to open. It is amazing how the season can be so far behind here, when it is only a mile or two away from areas in full flower.
You won’t see fields of flowers at Joshua Tree right now, but park your car along the side of the road that leads to the visitor’s center, and walk towards the mountains. You will find lovely displays of beavertail cactus, barrel cactus and ocotillo blooms there, near the mountain’s base.