Karen Sharp

Karen Sharp

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Welcomes A Rare Bloom

The record number of recent rainfalls has brought a super bloom of Wildflower to the San Diego County Park Desert.

Since the beginning of March, Anza-Borrego's rainfall has surpassed its average annual yearly rainfall of 5.32 inches with a total for the current period of 6.53 inches, according to Jim Dice, Reserve Manager at the University of California, Irvine's Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center in Borrego Springs.

"It's been a strange year and we, at the very western edge here of the Colorado Desert, Sonoran Desert, only occasionally get summer monsoons of any real strength and we did this year," Dice added.

Dice has been studying and living in the desert for the last 30 odd years and the last time substantial summer monsoons fell were in 2013 and 2014.

"This is unusual in that it got started in September. There was a follow-up storm on October 15th that was only four-tenths of an inch, but that's pretty substantial for out here and it was enough to carry things that had germinated. We had a really miserable November and December," Dice said.

This past December, Desert lilies began blooming and in January, there was sand blazing stars which are both unheard of.

"It's hard to say what's normal anymore. I've been here for 30 years and I really can't tell you what's normal. Every year seems to be different," Dice said, laughing.

If the rain continues, more blooms could keep coming.

You can spot these floral blossoms while you're out:

  • Sand verbena
  • Evening primrose
  • Desert sunflower
  • Bigelow's monkeyflower (which can increase their size by three times during wet years)
  • Blazing star (bloomed in January, which is unheard of)
  • Bristly gilia
  • Chinchweed

Here is where you can find desert blooms:

  • Along Henderson Canyon Road between Borrego Valley Road and Highway S-22
  • First mile of Coyote Canyon
  • Southern end of the park starting in June Wash, which is a sandy, four-wheel drive road located on highway S-2
  • Check here for updates on bloom locations and printable flower maps

The desert wildflowers even have their own hotline! Call the Wildflower Hotline at 760-767-4684 to check for updates on where and when to find the florals.

For more information on visiting the Deserts, click on the link below.

Source: NBC San Diego

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