While the northeast is buried in snow, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring is approaching. Wildflowers in southeastern California are blooming and the conditions are perfect for a so-called super bloom. You may not have heard of a super bloom until now, but it's a real thing and anyone who loves nature should be excited.
"Super bloom" is a colloquial term used to describe this abundance of wildflowers that goes well beyond the standard seasonal bloom. It occurs when a number of variables are met. Most importantly, the desert needs quite a bit of precipitation over the winter, preventing the soil from completely drying out. That's what has happened in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where the region has seen seven inches of rain since December, according to National Geographic.
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That's twice the average precipitation the region usually gets in that time period. It's part of an atypically wet winter that is helping California emerge from a prolonged drought. Additionally, in this region, the precipitation has helped awaken wildflower seeds on the desert floor that have waited years without blooming.
Park officials say the super bloom is just getting started, so there's time to see the gorgeous carpeting of vibrant wildflowers. If you hate nature, it'd probably still look good on the 'gram. (People do things for the picture, right? For instance, some humans have ingested a rainbow grilled cheese.)
“The classic field of color plant out there is the dune verbena,” Clayton Tschudy, director of horticulture at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, told San Diego's KBPS. “It can cover whole fields with purple, and when you stand out there you can smell its sort of sweet delicate scent.”
In addition to dune verbena, the visitors may see desert lilies, yellow desert sunflowers, woolly Indian paintbrush, and the Parish poppy.
The peak bloom is expected to last until the end of March. For anyone planning a trip, The San Diego Union-Tribune has a useful guide to seeing the wildflowers. They recommend getting to the desert as soon as possible to experience the super bloom, in case inclement weather or caterpillars disrupt the bloom. They also suggest getting out early in the day to beat the crowds and the heat.
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