Joshua Tree NP and Nearby

Wildflower Reports

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2018 Joshua Tree National Park - Wildflower Reports

Oct 14, 2018 Joshua Tree NP reports: Friday storms caused major road damage in and around Joshua Tree National Park. Be prepared for mud and sand in the roads and for road closures. RT 62 had lots mud in some areas. Most of Pinto Basin Road is closed, including the South Entrance to the park. All dirt roads are closed. Our roads crew is working hard to assess the damage, report the closures and improve road conditions.

Oct 2, 2018 Joshua Tree NP reports: High drama in the park last night! Who saw the lightning and flash flooding? Hopefully you were able to view from a safe distance! Storms may continue for the next couple of days. Stay safe, turn around instead of driving through deep or moving water, and avoid camping while there is a chance of flash flooding! Remember that lightning can strike from a great distance.

Aug 19, 2018 Joshua Tree NP reports: Planning on visiting Joshua Tree National Park this week? Be aware that most of the dirt roads in the park are currently closed due to washout and standing water from recent rains. Please use caution while driving in the park.  Closed roads: Desert Queen Mine Road, Queen Valley Road, O'Dell Road, Bighorn Pass Road, Keys Ranch Road, and Geology Tour Road.

Aug 4, 2018 DesertUSA reports: All the wildflowers are gone, and there were some flash floods.

April 27, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Lots of wildflowers and cactus in bloom off of Pioneertown Road and also along Pipes Canyon Road.



April 24, 2018 Pam reports: Finally the wildflowers are starting to bloom! So delighted to see various yellow blooms popping up at both Barker Dam and at Quail Springs where I wandered. I also saw some Popcorn flowers, Trailing Four O'clock and both strawberry and purple Hedgehog blooms. This year, because of the lack of rain, I don't expect to see the large patches of blooms (where it almost looks like ground cover) but it is starting.


April 13, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Visited the southern part of the park, Cottonwood area. Palo verde trees are in bloom along Interstate 10 and the road leading into the park. Did not find many wildflowers in bloom and the desert is getting hot now and very dried out.

Palo Verde Tree

A Lone Bladder Pod, Past Its Peak.


April 8, 2018 Pam reports: I spent the afternoon wandering off of Lost Horse Road (mainly the wash at the 4th turn out) where I could see that the annual lupines and New Mexico thistles are starting to grow but neither are ready to bloom yet. Did find a few blooming Desert Verbena in lavender and some blooming Strawberry Hedgehogs. Then, I hiked to the Oyster Bar where wildflowers were few and far between but there were several scrawny Golden Smokes. And I saw many Bevertails with buds (yay!) yet also saw many Bevertails without any buds indicating just how dry a winter we had. Still, I am hopeful that late April and May will be rewarding for blooms.

April 6, 2018 Donald reports: Barker Dam, Joshua Tree National Park, April 1, 2018 Joshua Tree are starting to bloom.


Mar 30, 2018 Sam reports: I just spent a couple days in Joshua Tree and captured the attached photos. All photos taken in the Wonderland of Rocks on March 24th and 25th. I ID'ed the ones I could, but wasn't sure of about half of them. Seems like things are just starting to pop out there. Saw a couple Mojave mound cactus with flowers, but all other types of cactus did not have any buds yet. The small pink/purple flower was all over the desert floor, open in the mornings and then closed by noon.

The small pink/purple flower was all over the desert floor (Filaree Storksbill)


Mar 23, 2018 Jonathan reports: Taken 3/20/18: The Desert Indian Paintbrush ? located opposite of Bell Campground, the only flowering bush we saw on a two hour hike.

Taken 3/21/18: The remaining photos were taken on an hour walk. A half mile or so past the 29 Palms park entrance at the first paved turnoff on the right. We crossed the road and walked east into the rocky area. The beavertail is just starting to put out tiny buds.


Mar 23, 2018 Don reports: Mastadon Peak Trail in the Cottonwood Spring area.



Mar 23, 2018 Pam reports: Earlier this week, Joshua Tree got a full night of rain and now patches of green can be seen popping up everywhere. Beavertail cactus would normally be loaded with buds at this time of year but as I wandered through the national park for over 4 hours, no buds were seen. Hopefully the recent rain will spark their growth and if so, we'll have a late bloom. Nonetheless, I did see my first blooms of the season in the Hall of Horrors area. A red wildflower and what I think is flat-top buckwheat.



Mar 9, 2018 Joshua Tree National Park reports: This year we are keeping a close eye on our wildflowers. The park had relatively large blooms the past two years and park ecologists are predicting that this year may yield a smaller bloom. There is still so much we do not know about what triggers a good bloom, so it's tough to predict. 

Photo by NPS / Brad Sutton; a lone Arizona lupine blooms in a sandy wash.

Mar 2, 2018 DesertUSA reports: So far it not a good year for wildflowers. There is no rain in the forecast for next 10 days, there are a few wildflowers but you have to hunt for them. Joshua Trees and Yuccas should bloom in this month and in April.

Feb 2, 2018 DUSA reports: There has not been much rain in the area, the outlook for wildflower is not good at this date. Joshua Trees and Yuccas will bloom in March and April of this year.



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 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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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.

Wildflower Field Guide page.

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Southern CA Wildflowers | Anza-Borrego DSP | Death Valley NP | Mojave NP

Back to Main Wildflower Page | Wildflower Field Guide

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When Will The Wildflowers Bloom?


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