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‘Keep beauty in bloom.’ Potential super blooms in California come with warnings

With the deluge of rain, the upcoming wildflower season could bring a “sea of ​​rainbow colors” to California parks.

This year’s wildflower season is expected to be impressive, California State Parks said in a March 1 news release.

The amount of wildflowers depends on a handful of factors, including the amount of rain.

The amount of wildflowers depends on a handful of factors, including the amount of rain.

“We welcome all Californians and visitors from around the world to experience this natural phenomenon and ask everyone to preserve the ‘Beauty in Bloom’ by staying on designated trails and taking only photos, no flowers,” Quintero said in the release.

Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.

Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.

In recent years, public lands, including some state parks, have been covered in wildflowers — a phenomenon known as super blooms, California State Parks Director Armando Quintero said in the release.

Will there be a super bloom?

Wildflowers blanketed a number of state parks, including Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR, Anza-Borrego Desert SP and Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, in 2017, 2019 and 2023, the department said.

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The phenomenon attracted “hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world,” the department said.

Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.

Wildflower blooms seen at Ocotillo Wells SVRA in 2019.

Super blooms usually occur when there are long periods of drought, followed by “a year where you get above average rainfall,” Jorge Moreno, a spokesman for California State Parks, told McClatchy News in a phone interview last March.

It’s unpredictable that such large blooms require almost “perfect conditions,” Moreno said.

Wildflower abundance depends on a handful of factors, including rainfall levels, the timing of rainfall, sunlight, humidity and seasonal temperatures, the department said. These factors also contribute to ‘flowering timing’.

Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.

Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.

With the amount of rain California saw last fall and this winter, “public land managers expect ‘good’ to ‘better than average’ wildflower blooms in the spring, depending on continued weather conditions.”

Which parks see flowers?

At Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the state’s largest park in San Diego County, flowers are popping up in a number of areas, “such as Borrego Springs along Henderson Canyon Road, the lower sand dune portions of Coyote Canyon and in the southern portion of the state park along Highway S2 southeast of Agua Caliente County Park.”

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Some early blooms of primrose, phacelia and woolly sunflower are also showing up near “June Wash, which is moving northeast toward Fish Creek and Arroyo Tapiado,” park officials said.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve is seeing “sporadic individual poppies” starting to bloom, the department said.

“If the weather remains mild, this year’s blooms are expected to be better than last year,” park officials said. “If the weather becomes warm, this could affect flowering in the coming months.”

Other parks, such as Red Rock Canyon State Park and Chino Hills State Park, where there are no real signs of blooms yet, are expected to see “good wildflower blooms from mid-March through May and into the spring. ” season,” the department said.

For updates on the flowers at the various parks, visitors can consult the department’s Flower Blooms Updates page.

Tips before you go

California State Parks said visitors should understand the areas they want to visit. Cellular service will be limited in some areas, the department said, and guests should prepare accordingly.

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Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.

Wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 2019.

Guests should also check the weather before arriving, the department said.

“Be prepared and plan for all weather conditions,” officials said.

Finally, state park officials urged visitors to know the limitations of their own bodies.

Because “there are often no restaurants, gas stations or stores near the bloom areas,” visitors should come prepared with “plenty of food and water,” the department said.

To avoid crowds, guests are encouraged to visit the parks during the week rather than on weekends, the department said.

“Don’t damn the bloom.” Vibrant super blooms appearing in California come with warnings

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