Yuma and Tucson Area in Arizona

Where to Find the Wildflowers

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2020 Southern AZ Wildflowers Locations and Pictures

June 5 2020 Saguaro National Park reports: We're seeing lots of flowers out there, probably at or just past peak flowering for our saguaros and there are some fruits starting to develop as well. Has anyone else seen saguaro fruits¬†ūüĆĶūüćďūüĆĶ¬†around Tucson?

These photos our from our ongoing phenology project, tracking the saguaro flowering cycle throughout the season through photos (taken by our amazing staff, interns, and volunteers and this huge selfie stick)!


April 23, 2020 Jeff reports: April 18th Oracle State Park. Clusters of Mariposa lillies all along the Arizona trail near the Cody Bottom trailhead. Further into Oracle State Park I spotted lupines, some waining mallows and hedgehog cacti blooming. 


April 17, 2020 Bob reports: We went to Catalina State Park and took the Sutherland Trail a few miles in to a side trail towards the west and found some nice wildflowers but it is clearly getting towards the end of the best displays. Poppies and owl's clover are still numerous but the dense fields are gone.

We did find a grouping of mariposa lilies in just one small area but they were excellent. The other highlight was a few blooming hedgehog cacti - VIVID magenta flowers.




 

April 6, 2020 Margie reports: North of Tucson Catalina State Park's Sutherland Trail is just magnificent right now.  The park is limiting parking to facilitate Social Distancing, so you need to go early.  The amount of Owl Clover, Mexican Gold Poppies, Desert Chicory, and Silverpuffs is the best we have seen in years.


April 2, 2020 Margie reports: The Alamo Canyon (unmarked) Trail is Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ is beautiful.  The hillsides are covered with Brittlebush, pink Owl Clover, poppies, Hop Bush, and more.



March 27, 2020 Jim reports: These photos are from Tule Well along El Camino del Diablo. We saw tons of blooming Brittlebrush, and the ocotillos were all green and blooming between Ajo and Yuma.



 

 

March 26, 2020 David reports: We too did the Black Hills Country Byway (Off HWY 191, N of Safford) and drove the entire 21 mile route on Saturday, March 21. It was incredible as described and it looked to have some more days left. Thank you for your service - we’d never seen a superbloom before and it was well worth the detour. ¬†Incredibly colorful mountain sides and meadows. We entered the byway late in the afternoon (330PM ) and were able to see it all and have a picnic on the Gila River our in area before returning to Safford at dark.¬†



March 22, 2020 Bob reports: St Patrick's Day - We did the Babad Do'ag trail a few miles up Catalina highway out of Tucson. It's two miles mainly uphill and the trail finishes in some of the best poppy fields I've ever seen.  Lots of other wildflowers along the way - changing as you climb higher. There's also a waterfall that should come back to life with the rain expected on March 18.



March 20, 2020 Douglas reports: Went poppy hunting and visited the Black Hills Back Country Byway on 17 Mar and the colors were amazing.  We entered at MM139 off Hwy 191N (north of Safford) and did the entire 21 mile drive.  Seemed like every curve and hillside brought new colors.  On the return, the views were just as good on Hwy 191S between MM160-140. Had the added benefit of seeing the blanket of yellow along I-10 approaching Hwy 191N (east of Wilcox) and had some amazing views of the snow capped Mt Graham.  A full day trip from Tucson, but well worth it. 



March 17, 2020 Gaelyn reports: March 8 & 9, Organ Pipe Cactus NM Along the Ajo Mt Dr and North Puerto Blanco Rd Not quite peak but pretty and with these last days of rain could get better.


March 14, 2020 Andy reports: March 8 on Sendero Esperanza in Saguaro National Park. Lots of diversity with over 20 species blooming. End of the month may be peak but already a pretty hike. The hillside up to the ridge is where the flowers are popping.


March 11, 2020 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument reports: In the morning sunshine the Victoria Mine Trail reveals many treats. As you cross the washes, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful flowers of the Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla).

The blooms are numerous and are also sessile, meaning they have no stalk but are attached directly to the stem. The petals are inconspicuous; it is the long, pink filaments of the stamens that make the showy display. The flowers open at night, drooping with the daytime heat; so, if you want to see them in their prime, get those hiking boots on earlier rather than later.

March 11, 2020 P.A. reports: South of Gilbert Ray Campground. Beautiful tiny flowers:)




 

March 8, 2020 Richard reports: Poppies at Picacho. I could be wrong, but I think the peak for Poppies is over at Picacho. Photo taken on 3/7/20.


March 8, 2020 Alan reports: Brittlebush in abundance in Saguaro National Park West on March 03.


March 7, 2020 Francis reports: At north entrance Organ Pipe Cactus Park in Az. In general flowers less than normal there. 


March 5, 2020 Dawn reports: Picacho Peak 2/28/20.  Wildflowers are about at peak there right now.  Lupines are in abundance, particularly on the back side of the park along the Sunset Trail.  Lots of poppies on the front side of the park.  Other wildflowers are mixed in.  


March 5, 2020 Pat reports: Large showy patches are just beginning to develop in the NE part of the Tucson Mountains. I traveled El Camino del Cerro, Camino de Oeste, Sunset Road, Silverbell Road and Picture Rocks. Bladderpod appeared in patches toward the beginning of my trip, while brittlebush showed on the hillside at the pass on Picture Rocks. Jewelflowers in my yard showed the most spectacular I have seen them in my half century of living in southern Arizona, though it is never a huge field in any year. In addition, I observed poppies, lupine, desert marigold, desert chicory, desert mallow, fairy duster, bluedicks, penstemon, chaparral, cranesbill, fiddleneck, scorpionweed, and aloes in bloom, along with cultivated flowers in the city.



 

March 2, 2020 Mr X reports: I hiked Bear Canyon past Seven Falls, Tuesday the 25th. The wildflowers were just starting to bloom. There is still good flow in the creek.




March 2, 2020 Barbara reports: We went to Picacho Peak 2/29/20. Poppies are in great patches everywhere but also large tracts of lupines mixed in Phacelia and tiny fender sandwort (?)



March 1, 2020 Brad reports: Here's a report for a different dune system, about 45 min east of Yuma. There's an unusually dense display of Ajo Lilies just getting started on the north end the Mohawk Dunes near Tacna, AZ. Several other dune specialists as well, including the white mustards Dune Spectacle-Pod (Dimorphocarpa pinnatifida) and California Spectacle-Pod (Dithyrea californica), both intensely fragrant. If you get there in the evening you will smell them long before you see them.

To reach the dunes, take the Tacna exit and drive east toward the Mohawk Mountains on the dirt/sand track that parallels the south side of Interstate 8. There are some puddles from recent rains, but 2WD vehicles should be able to detour around these with care. The best displays are where the track crosses the high point of the dunes, just before the mountains.


March 1, 2020 Brad reports: There is a wonderful diversity of low desert annuals flowering along the Painted Desert Trail in Imperial National Wildlife Refuge along the Colorado River north of Yuma. From Highway 95 take N Martinez Lake Rd then continue on Red Cloud Mine road to the Painted Desert Trailhead. The trail is a short loop, less than 1.5 miles long, with beautiful scenery and lots of wildflowers.




Feb 21, 2020 Tom reports: Bridle Trail in Catalina State Park north of Tucson, Az. Mexico’s Goldpoppies are starting to bloom in the park. ¬†The plants are healthy and it looks to be a good year.


Feb 15, 2020 Shellie reports:  Tanque Verde Ridge trail, Saguaro East.  Friday, 2-14-2020 mexican poppy (I think)  Also saw some brittlebush blooming.  What is the small little pinkish flower and the orange flower?




Feb 3, 2020 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument reports: With recent precipitation and warming days a few posies are starting to pop!


NPS photos

Jan 27, 2020 Saguaro National Park reports: We're doing great with winter precipitation so far at the park with 4.94'' at the Visitors Center and over 8.5+'' in the mountains! We only need a storm or two more and we should have a great spring bloom!

Jan 2, 2020 DesertUSA reports: Rain fell in most of the areas that will be producing wildflowers in the next month.

 

 

 


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 Jim@desertusa.com. 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.

Wildflower Field Guide page.

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.

Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports

 

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