Yuma and Tucson Area in Arizona

Wildflowers Reports

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2019 Southern AZ Wildflower Reports ‎

Jan 10, 2019 Pat reports: anuary 8, I found patches of Desert Mallow, Desert Marigold, and poppies in the median along I-19 between the Tucson city limits and San Xavier Road. Because of the difficulty of photographing anything on an interstate while driving, I did not get good pictures (or any pictures of the poppies). Fortunately, construction slowed traffic, making the photo of the Desert Marigolds possible.

Jan 1, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Southern Arizona is looking good for wildflowers this year.


2018 Southern AZ Wildflower Reports ‎

Dec 26, 2018 Pat Reports: Brittlebush are in bloom in multiple locations in Tucson. I observed them along El Camino del Cerro, and east of La Canada on Orange Grove. The photo is from the Tucson Mountains. December 24. Chaparral is also in bloom.

Dec 18, 2018 Doris Reports: Desert Sunflower was taken yesterday in the desert off Foothills Blvd. in the Foothills area of Yuma. Dune Sunflower was taken 12/12 in the 40th Street area in Yuma Foothills.

Dec 1, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: These small purple flowers, which have popped up all over the monument, are known as Windmills or Trailing Four-O'Clock. Each flower is actually a group of three flowers. Windmills are typically spring and summer annuals, however, they are also a short-lived perennial. They are currently blooming because of our early October rains.

October 14, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: We have received around 0.7 inches of rain, thanks to moisture from the remains of former tropical storm Sergio. Since January 2018 the visitor center rain gauge has received 9.87 inches of rain. And prior to yesterdays rainfall, Arch Canyon has received 15.75 inches. We are hoping for a wildflower bloom this spring.

Oct 14, 2018 Saguaro National Park Reports: More rain.

October 2, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Park Alert: Rain continues today and washes are flowing. We received 3.6 inches of rain overnight. The Kris Eggle Visitors Center will be closed today. Highway 85 may be impassible in multiple locations due to flooding and debris in the road. Flash flooding can occur within the monument’s many washes and they can run for several hours. Remember it is never wise to cross a wash with fast moving water. Check weather radar and road conditions before you visit the monument and travel on AZ highway 85.

Oct 1, 2018 Saguaro National Park Reports: The park received above average rainfall (8.75'') at the visitors center, courtesy of a tropical storm in June and another tropical depression (9/19). There are winners and losers during the monsoon season, but most of the southeastern corner of Arizona had a great summer! Keep it positive for the winter.


August 15, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: No wonder the Sonoran Desert is known as the "green desert." Thanks to the monsoon rains the desert is greening up and flowers are present. Not only are the cacti in bloom, such as the red flowers on this barrel cactus, our summer poppies are also visible. The orange poppy flowers are from the Arizona poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora), which is a summer annual, and is in the same family as the creosote bush.


June 18, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Thanks to tropical storm Bud, we received a much needed 4 tenths of an inch of rain. Our last measurable rainfall was 184 days ago on December 17, 2017 when we received half an inch of rain.

June 15, 2018 Saguaro National Park Reports: Lightning flashes as an evening thunderstorm rolls across the desert in Saguaro National Park in Pima County, Arizona.

May 17, 2018 Saguaro National Park reports: Here at the park we've been noticing many more blooms per bud this year. Does this mean the monsoon season will finally be a great one?

May 5, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Yellow buckhorn cholla flowers can be seen blooming along the drive to Bates Well. Buckhorn cholla flowers and staghorn cholla look very similar in shape and coloration (flowers can be yellow, copper, orange or red).

May 5, 2018 Saguaro National Park reports: Rainbow cactus and the saguaro cactus are now blooming.


April 27, 2018 Pat reports:  All throughout Tucson, there are Palo Verde trees in full bloom, bright yellow spots. Along El Camino del Cerro traveling to the trailhead, particularly in the hills, other species in bloom include: Palo Verde, Ironwood (just starting to bloom), Acacias, Velvet Mesquite, a few Chaparral (though those are mostly fuzzy seed heads now), an occasional outcrop of Desert Marigold and Brittlebush, and a few other wildflowers, Cholla, and Prickly Pear.

April 24, 2018 Saguaro National Park reports: Some of the saguaros have started to bloom but the majority of the Saguaros flowers are still only buds. We are still a couple weeks away from seeing a landscape full of saguaro flowers.

April 23, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Our senita cacti are starting to bloom. They sure are pretty. Ouch! But do not get too close... If you look closely in the photo you will notice a poor bee that has been impaled by a senita spine during its quest to reach the flower. The flowers produced by the senita cactus are much more colorful than that of the saguaro and organ pipe cactus, a collection of colors including white, yellow, red, and pink can be seen within a flower.

April 20, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Not only have our lesser long-nosed bats migrated back to the monument, we are starting to see our first Organ Pipe Cactus blooms of the season. If you happen to be stopping by the Kris Eggle Visitor Center, check out all the flower buds on the Organ Pipe Cactus in our front planter.

April 6, 2018 Saguaro National Park reports: The saguaro will soon be blooming.

April. 2, 2018 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Our first saguaro bloom of the season and the bees are already busy pollinating the lone flower. Saguaro flowers bloom for less than 24 hours, which is a very short time to attract pollinators. If you are passing through the monument, you can find this saguaro blooming near mile post 75 (just a quarter of a mile north of the visitor center on the west side of AZ 85).


Mar 2, 2018 Katherine reports: Brittlebush in bloom in Pima Canyon, near Tucson, Arizona




2017 Southern AZ Wildflower Reports ‎

Aug 9, 2017 Pat reports: The Whitethorn Acacia is covered with yellow fuzzballs in the hills on El Camino del Cerro, Tucson Mountains. I have never SEEN such a profuse bloom in all the years I have lived in Arizona (over 50 years). Also in bloom are the Desert Senna and Chaparral. Picture taken yesterday, August 7.

Aug 2, 2017 Saguaro National Park reports: It's that time of year when the Prickly Pear Cacti are fruiting! Did you know that the fruit from a prickly pear also goes by the name of Tuna? Who knew you could find Tuna in the desert!

May 2, 2017 Saguaro National Park reports: Saguaro cactus now blooming - Surprising to most, the saguaro flower only blooms for less than a day before closing and falling off shortly after. Despite this short time period, the flower attracts a large array of pollinators which include many species of insects, bats, and birds.

April 22, 2017 Saguaro National Park reports: We have our first bloom in our saguaro phenology plot in the Tucson Mountain District. Take advantage of our fee free weekend as part of National Park Week and help celebrate America's best idea!




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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Mojave Desert Wildflowers book 200 color photos

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