In California, Wildflowers Are Already Blooming Following Wet Winter

Mar 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

March is right around the corner, and though it’s not quite spring, it is officially wildflower season.

According to DesertUSA — a resource that provides regular wildflower reports — blossoms have been appearing earlier than usual across the region. Some areas are even anticipating full super blooms.

For a super bloom (an exceptionally high proliferation of wildflowers) to occur, there must be unusually heavy rainfall during the late fall, followed by consistent rains throughout the winter. Blooms typically begin appearing in late February or early March and, depending on the location, can continue straight through the summer. The higher the elevation, the later in the season the blooms will appear.

Already, in southern California, the green hills around Lake Elsinore have been transformed by a super bloom of bright orange poppies. According to KABC, a recent bout of heavy rain triggered the wildflower blossoms, which has crowds of visitors pulling off Interstate 15 to admire the colorful fields.

At Diamond Valley Lake, about 24 miles east, experts are expecting a mid-March super bloom of not just California poppies, but also arroyo lupines, Canterbury bells, rancher’s fiddleneck and other wildflowers, following a winter of record-braking rains. On Saturday, March 2, a seasonal wildflower trail encircling the lake will open to the public, the Associated Press reported.

Heavy rains around Palm Springs suggest a forthcoming super bloom in the Coachella Valley, too, while Joshua Tree National Park has already been flowering. “I’ve lived here in the Coachella Valley for over three decades, and there have been maybe two to four exceptional wildflower years,” a research ecologist at UC Riverside’s Center for Conservation Biology told USA Today. “And this is one of those.”

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

At Joshua Tree, which straddles the Mojave and Colorado deserts, blooms could last even longer than usual, thanks to recent drop in temperature (read: snowstorm).

Wildflowers have also been blooming around Antelope Valley, Carrizo Plain National Monument and Anza-Borrego State Park, the latter of which is already boasting an impressive display of wildflowers, DesertUSA reported.

Though California’s wildflowers tend to attract the most attention, the Golden State is hardly the only place in the nation to see arid desert landscapes erupt with colorful flora come springtime. Wide Open Country is reporting that the spring of 2019 could be one of the best wildflower seasons in a decade, thanks to “above-average” rainfall. Instead of golden Californias poppies, of course, the landscape is expected to electrified by Texas bluebonnets.

Sadly, a super bloom at Death Valley National Park is unlikely this year. It’s considered one of the more spectacular wildflower events in the world, thanks to its rarity: the last one occurred in 2016, and before that, 2005.

Whether you’re photographing poppies in California, or searching for wildflower blooms elsewhere, remember to be thoughtful and conscientious during your travels. After all, there’s no faster way to end a wildflower super bloom than to pick the flowers (or go stomping off the trail).

Featured photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.