Anza-Borrego Wildflowers Page 2

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E-mail your digital photos and reports to Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date.

How to get to the park - Map - You can also tour the 133 full-sized metal sculptures here that are inspired by creatures that roamed this same desert millions of years ago. Need a place to stay? Get rates - More on the park: Park Information.


2019 Anza Borrego Desert - Wildflower Reports

Page 2

Feb 4, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Another half inch of rain fell on Saturday and more rain is in the forecast for Monday.

Feb 3, 2019 Ed reports: After an evening rain early blooming sand verbena and Dune primrose taken on Feb. 2 south of S-22 in Palo Verde Wash near mile-marker 33, Anza Borrego State Park, southern California.

Feb 2, 2019 Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center reports: Ay, lluvia! January went out with a deluge (slight exaggeration). As of midnight the UCNRS weather station at Park Headquarters had recorded 0.31 inch for yesterday's storm and a total of 3.59 inches for the weather year (July 1 to June 30), so far. Not as good as the Flowergeddon year of 2017 when we had recorded 5.30 inches as of February 1st and 7.38 inches for the entire year -- but three times better than last year when we had 1.14 inch as of February 1st, and 1.16 for the entire year. We're hoping for more next week.

Feb 1, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Lots of flowers along S22 near the Arroyo Salado campground and along the first mile of the road into the campground. Some rain fell Thursday and more may fall on Saturday. Lots of sand verbena on the hillside east overlooking Clark Dry Lake. Wildflowers are starting along the entrance to Coyote Canyon. Looks like a good wildflower year.

The pictures below are from the area along S22.

Desert Sunflower

Desert Lily

Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose

Jan 31, 2019 Patrick reports: Taken on the road to Coyote Canyon just outside Borrego Springs on January 30th 2019.

Jan 30, 2019 David reports: Photos from along S22

Dune Evening Primrose

Jan 28, 2019 Anza-Borrego DSP reports: With 3 inches of rain since July, we anticipate widespread bloom of flowers in February and March.  Some flowers are blooming along S22 east of mile marker 30. 

Jan 28, 2019 Randall reports: On the 19th of January, at about 15 miles from Ocotillo on the S2 road, I ran into these ram sheep. I have been looking for these elusive critters for a long time and lo and behold, right along S2 where they should not be expected. The flowers were from a ride along the June wash of the S2. Many flowers are blooming and some of the sun facing hills have many flowers. I recently purchased the book on your site: Anza-Borrego Desert Region by Lowell and Diana Lindsay, and I will say this guide is amazing and every weekend me and my camera are off to explore the desert.

Jan 25, 2019 DesertUSA reports: We stopped at the area around Coachwhip Canyon, off of S22. The dirt road into the canyon is in good shape. You can park there and walk around and enjoy the wildflowers. We also went about 2 miles into Coyote Canyon. The road there is also in good shape and easy to travel; there are lots of flowers alongside it.

On the way back to San Diego we spotted some bighorn sheep. The weather was great. It's still early but the wildflowers are definitely out in some areas.


Jan 22, 2019 Dorothy reports: These photos are from Butte's Pass in Anza Borrego from January 17, 2019.

Below taken Palm Wash off Hwy 22 in Anza Borrego on January 18, 2019

Jan 18, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Visited the park on Wednesday, a foggy day with some sun breaking through. The park was still wet from the rain and very green. We found a few areas that have started to produce some wildflowers. In another two to three weeks it could be the start of a good wildflower show. I've made a map of the areas where we stopped for pictures.

Pictures Area 1 on Map


Pictures Area 2 on Map - Coachwhip Canyon

Pictures Area 3 on Map - Henderson Canyon RD

Pictures Area 4 on Map - Coyote Canyon

Pictures Area 5 on Map - S22 on the way to Ranchita



Jan 14, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Light rain fell last week and more rain is forecast for the next three days. There are some wildflowers in bloom in remote areas. This rain should improve things for more parts of the park. Some flash floods are possible. It looks like it will be good year for wildflowers at this point in time.

Here's what Anza Borrego DSP is predicting.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 2018-19 “Season” Bloom Analysis and Prediction
by Kate Harper
Desert Research Botanist
Rain Analysis Related to Blooming

We appear to be heading into a 2-pulse 2018-19 “Season”.

What has triggered the first pulse of blooming?

We had significant rain in spotty areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (the Park) on October 12, 2018. It was still hot in the Park, but it was cooling off from the peak summer heat. It appears that the temperature was still warm enough to trigger the germination of some monsoonal plants (summer storm triggering plants), and just cooled down enough to trigger the germination of some “spring” plants (calendar winter, but what we call in the desert spring).

So, right now, in mid-January 2019, we are having the beginning of a bloom! BUT, just in the spotty areas that received the thunderstorm rain on October 12, 2019. Unfortunately, none of the popular close-to-town flower field areas are included in this spotty early bloom.

What has triggered the second, more common pulse of blooming?

The Park received 0.39 inch of rain in a November 29-30, 2018 storm. This is not enough rain to trigger widespread germination, BUT it is enough rain to soften the dry surface of the soil and to make the soil receptive to additional rain without run off. And, so what do you want after such a preparatory rain? A storm of at least 1 inch. And, the Park got it! A storm event on December 5-6, 2018 delivered 1.05 inches of rain. Now we have enough rain to trigger widespread germination of “Spring” annuals.

Think of the desert in the “Spring” like you would think about planting a garden. After you have the seeds in, all experts suggest “give your garden a good soaking”. That is the December 5-6, 2018 storm that delivered 1.05 inches. Then, what do the garden experts tell you? They say, “Water at regular intervals.” And, voila! The skies have delivered just such a watering regime, so far: A semi-soaking on December 31, 2018 of 0.52 inch. A nice interval watering on January 6, 2019 of 0.11 inch. And, right on cue, another interval watering of 0.14 inch on January 12, 2019!

So, does this guarantee us a lovely “Spring” Bloom this year? Almost.

Only 2 kinds of events could derail a lovely “Spring” bloom this year: multiple days of below freezing temperatures or multiple days of super hot temperatures. Either of these could impact the plants. BUT, barring those events, we are ON for a lovely year to be in the flower-filled Borrego Desert!


Jan 6, 2019 DesertUSA reports: The park got some rain today.

Jan 1, 2019 DesertUSA reports: The rain in December will help the wildflowers. It has snowed in the upper area of the park, and there is more rain on the way.

Photo: Sicco Rood




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Photos tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography and wildflowers photos.


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 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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