Wildflowers in the California deserts

This desert in the Southwest is experiencing a wildflower ‘superbloom’

The Anza-Borrego Desert is experiencing a superbloom of wildflowers after a wet winter. (zandtrick/Instagram)
The Anza-Borrego Desert is experiencing a superbloom of wildflowers after a wet winter. (zandtrick/Instagram)

A wildflower superbloom is underway in the desert Southwest in March after seven inches of winter rain. Anza-Borrego State Park in California hasn’t experienced a bloom so prolific since at least 1999 according to park officials.

“This is shaping up to be a great wildflower year!” the park wrote on its Facebook page late last week. “…desert lilies are spectacular, and other annuals are coming along nicely! Make plans now to visit near the middle of the month.”

The purple sand verbena is widespread in the Anzo-Borrega right now. It’s native to the Southwest and it thrives in well-drained soil. Pristine white primroses are also in bloom among yellow-flowered brittlebush. But, according to hikers’ reports, the most uncommon flower in bloom this year is the purple, notch-leaved phacelia.

It’s “a very rare event,” one hiker noted on the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association website:

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Can’t wait to see our wildflowers!

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