Flower Power Makes a Comeback in California
Author: Laura Chalk
In 1972 Albert Hammond sang, “it never rains in Southern California…it pours, man it pours.” The lyrics ring true of recent wet weather in the American sunshine state. Far from dampening spirits, the result has been a surge in enthusiasm for a rare profusion of wildflowers that has erupted throughout the region.
An exceptionally cold, wet winter, in which seven inches of rain fell at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, spawned the vibrant wildflowers, as National Geographic reports. Wildflowers include the purple sand verbena, white dune evening primroses and bright orange poppies, among many others.
Thousands of eager road-trippers headed for the desert last weekend to glimpse the once-in-a-decade display. Visitors have described “blankets of wildflowers covering the desert” and “intoxicating, fragrant air”.
Kathy DeMunk, a manager at the desert’s nature centre, explains, “what's happened in the last four or five days is extraordinary. We really haven't had this kind of a bloom since 2005. The desert has really come alive."
While abundant, occurrences of this nature are usually brief. According to officials at the park the phenomenon, named a ‘super bloom’, should continue to coat the landscape for just another couple of weeks.
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park isn’t the only place to witness the stunning display. Wildflowers have sprung up throughout the southern half of the state, including at the Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks and the Mojave Desert – sites that normally appear rocky and barren.
Technology is integral to the experience, with visitors posting stunning photographs to social media. To help flower-seekers make the most of their visits, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has even set up a wildflower hotline and webpage.
This rare and dramatic display of wildflowers in otherwise harsh desert environments is an example of nature’s ability to take us by surprise. It also points to the sense of wonder inherent in experiences of such beauty, as individuals flock to the desert to reunite with nature at its fragrant and flamboyant best.
- Show your support for groups who protect wildflower areas such as the The Bumblebee Conservation Trust or the Wildflower Society of Western Australia.
- Visit wildflowers when they are in bloom, for example Muogamarra Nature Reserve, NSW opens for six weeks in springtime for the public to walk amongst the wildflowers.
- Plan to visit events that showcase flowers, such as Australia’s biggest celebration of spring, the Canberra Floriade in September.
- Take part in nature care community planting events such as National Tree Day.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Laura joined Planet Ark in 2016. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having travelled the world and a background in teaching English as a second language among other things.