Did it rain? Where did it rain? We collect data from most of the professional local weather stations, click on the cloud below.
Weather rain
Vist our Facebook page

Bloom graph

Data is collected following the hiked path shown below and includes the immediate area.
One fertile flower (male or female), is all it takes to count a species in bloom.

We try to visit a lot of different areas, but areas with a better bloom may be visited more often.
It makes a huge different if the bloom count is from a very dry badlands area or from a place with a good rainfall or along a creek.

The data in the graph is averaged out over a couple of days, to show the actual daily bloom count in the graph, click on the legend on the right until only one is active (black).
With only one selected bars will pop up representing the daily bloom count.


Tom Chester made a couple of great pages with more specific data: Tom Chester bloom reports

The 2018-2019 bloom report:

Bloom prediction, updated January 18 2019


Indication are positive for a normal bloom in the months to come.
We still have a way above average bloom in the badlands and some other areas mentioned below.

Easy access flower sites:
Drive from Borrego Spring -> Salton sea on the S22. Start looking past the marked Palo Verde Wash but stay on the S22. The center is around Ella Wash, Arroyo Salado (camp) exit.
PLEASE DON'T STOP OR PARK ON THE ROAD.

North:
Along the Henderson Canyon Road hundreds of large Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower, some already in bloom. The bank of flower is narrow, but better hiking further North.
Coyote Canyon: Fouquieria splendens | splendens Ocotillo in good bloom along the road.
Along the creek more than 50 plants are in bloom, like Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, but further away from the creek the area is rather barren.
The area between Henderson Canyon road and Zero crossing looks promising as there is a lot of germination.
South:
The Canebrake area (Ironwood canyon, June Wash, Vallecito wash) a lot of plants don't look that happy. The frost and lack of rain are probably the cause, but with the recent rain.
Most visible bloom: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena.
East:
From and including Rattlesnake canyon along the S22.
One of the highlights along the S22 close to Arroyo Salado (camp), Ella Wash.

Confirmed germination and flowering plants:
Ocotillo Wells, Blow Sand Canyon, Cut Across Road, Military wash, 17 palms, Arroyo Salado (camp), east of Ella Wash, Palm Wash, Big Wash, Travertine Wash.
Palo Verde Wash, Smoketree Canyon, Rattlesnake canyon.

San Felipe wash 'road' along East Butte, is one of the best spots right now, with hundreds of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose in bloom.
Most visible bloom: Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose (hundreds early in the day), Abronia villosa villosa| Desert sand verbena.
Some Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily are in bloom, with probably more to follow.
Rain effects are visible east of the line Thimble trail (S22) up to Ironwood resort (78).

Check out Tom Chester bloom report

Jan 14 2018

More significant rain up to 0.7 Inch.

Jan 6 2018

Rain again between 0.01 and 0.15 Inch.

Dec 31 2018

Unexpected significant rain in the order of 0.1 Inch, enough to keep the germination that's already there from the October and December rain.

Dec 5,6 2018

We had an uniform rain all over the desert, even deep into Badlands, rain around 1 Inch.

Jan/19/2019 Little Clark dry lake loop

This is such a strange season, some plants in this area blooming at least 6 weeks early, this is like March.
The goal of the trip was finding Ives phacelia, Phacelia ivesiana with cotyledons and there were plenty around.

Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena are still doing great as do the early in the day bloomers Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
Some Astragalus lentiginosus borreganus | Borrego milkvetch in bloom, with over a hundred to follow.
Finding a couple of Erodium texanum | Texas filaree with open flowers is always great.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/18/2019 Rattlesnake East Fork

This fork has been on our to-do list for over 5 years, now it's finally the time to go.
The lower part (up to the fall) of the hike you see the effects of the October 2018 thunderstorm.
The most prominent bloomers:
Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and the prettier variation Encelia farinosa phenicodonta, Purple eyed brittlebush.
Both > 100 Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy and yes Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
> 100 Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy close to general bloom.
On a sun facing rocky slope countless Dalea mollis, Silky dalea in bloom, great we needed more photos.

One of the many highlights: Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant, again the long calyx variation.

We were expecting Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus | Cottontop cactus and there they were high up the steep slippery slope.
Much easier to climb up, than going safely back down.
Fun, we found one more close to the car, were we could stand next to it.
We know there are others easy accessible (Palo Verde, Domelands), for us this is a new location.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 62.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/16/2019 View of badlands wash loop

A loop on the east side of June Wash.
At first, the route follows the dirt road,
The abundance of flowering plants is still high, but things don't look that fresh anymore than a couple of weeks ago.
Freezing temperatures are one of the blaming factors, on the other hand plants bloom only a certain amount of time.
The December and January rain will certainly give this area a boost with many small germinating plants.

The highlight of the trip finding 35+ Astragalus insularis harwoodii, Harwood's milkvetch a plant we rarely see.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 51.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/14/2019 Drainages North side East Butte

Just before the rain.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 58.


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/13/2019 Unnamed Wash

A wash North of Big Wash.
One of the goals was to find what might be close to the most North/Easterly population of Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster.
The most abundant bloomer Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, and strange enough only a few Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower.
Another abundant bloomer, Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy.

The number of Erodium texanum | Texas filaree is very high, we found three plants in bloom, a very high score indeed, for a plant that seems to rarely bloom.
That said they are mostly self pollinators, rarely showing an open flower with petals.
Yes our first Gilia stellata | Star gilia for the season.

The bloom count is again high for January.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 63.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/10/2019 Military Wash South

A return to probably the best flower area right now.
This time we deviated a bit from our route more or less following the Oenothera deltoides deltoides, Dune evening primrose, indicating sandy area's.
Plants are still doing very well, more and more Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily are bloom.

The hundreds of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard are closing in for full bloom.
The Astragalus Aridus doing great and more and more start to go into bloom, a plant that hides it flowers well.
Nice Purplish Dithyrea californica, Spectacle pod and fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 55.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/8/2019 Second-Third Crossing

Driving from the asphalt, the germination is surprisingly good up to zero crossing.
All the way the Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo are in good bloom in an otherwise barren looking desert.

Water at First Crossing, less than a month ago when the road was the creek.
The park added a lot of extra boulders to prevent off-road travel. The road itself is excellent up to Third crossing.

The creek has rearranged itself since last season, mostly so between Second Crossing and Lower Willows.
This causes a massive amount of unhappy plants and lots of new vegetation.
Every time, we add more non-natives to our list.
The most interesting Marsh bristlegrass | Setaria parviflora or S. pumila new for us in the park.

The bloom is good along the creek, but dropping to almost zero away from the water.
Most noticeable Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Peritoma arborea angustata | Bladderpod bush.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 55.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/7/2019 Arroyo Salado Loop

This should be a promising area, and it is very good considering it's January.
One of the goals, finding Wrinkled spineflower | Chorizanthe corrugata germination, we probably succeeded a follow up will tell us more.
Another checking the many Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple eyed brittlebush, unfortunately none in bloom.

An easy to miss plant, Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar, but not now as it's unusually pretty.
This is a Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster hotspot, many plants in bloom and very happy.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 42.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/6/2019 San Felipe Fault Wash Loop

We had to postpone our hike because of the rain, about 0.1 Inch not much, but it will keep the plants happy for a couple of weeks.
This hike explores the interesting 'peak' that is visible from miles around in the flat area.
Heading all the way up to the Cut Across Rd and looping back along, but not in, Fault Wash.
This is about as far we can hike east, to stay safely out of the off-road area.

Great fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, closer to the San Felipe Wash hundreds of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
The Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose are as big as they will ever get, normally this is lunch time for the Caterpillars, until now the Caterpillars are scarce, but that can change very quickly.

The plants survived the short freeze without any visible problems.

One of the highlights a close to white Cleomella obtusifolia | Mojave cleomella.
The other, finding many Astragalus aridus | Annual Desert Milkvetch, a plant we've been searching for a couple of years now.

Unless something unexpected happens, this area may stay interesting until April, the batch of new germinating plants is doing great.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 51.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/4/2019 Mud Palisades

Driving up the Fish Creek Wash, the bloom count is very low, we counted less than five plants in bloom up to the Diablo Exit, this is very unusual.
The mature Astragalus crotalariae | Salton milkvetch are simply gone, they do grow very fast as we've seen hundreds of small plants in Olla Wash.

Once past Sandstone Canyon germination improves and we would probably have called it great, if we weren't spoiled by other areas.
The Olla Wash was much not as good as expected, some of the germinating plants did bloom. The effect of the freeze is certainly visible, and the recent rain might not be enough to keep things going.
Luckily things changed a lot at the top of the hike, here we picked up a Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower and two Cryptantha racemosa | Bushy cryptantha, the last is a plant we hardly see.
We scouted all the side canyons and drainages for Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster and we found many Asclepias albicans | White stemmed milkweed.
Now the thick base of the stem might be a good key to ID them without flower. We did find plants growing very close together, so the number of stems on a picture might be deceiving.

This is such a scenic area, that it's well worth the long drive.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 39.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/2/2019 East Butte Loop

The area is so good that it ended up on our repeat schedule, our previous hike was on Dec/12/2018.
It's sunny and close to freezing at the start of our hike, that's why we go uphill, that's just enough to warm up.

The Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose are the most obvious bloomers.
Some are close to end of bloom, germination on the other hand is strong, so a next generation of plants should take over.
Blooming Phacelia crenulata ambigua, Notch leaf phacelia are popping up in ever larger numbers.
It's nice to see the Krameria bicolor | White rhatany in full bloom in this otherwise barren area.
A number of Chorizanthe rigida | Devil's spineflower, a plant easily overlooked among the many Eriogonum thomasii | Thomas buckwheat.

Many Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star are starting to bloom and many will follow especially on the rocky slopes, here it's more a rock blazing star.
You see the effect of rocks and boulders on plants, with less competition, more water and a better regulated temperature.
The freeze seems to effect the younger plants more than the more mature plants.

More and more Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily are forming bud, so we might get to 1% of the plants in bloom. The >100 Psorothamnus emoryi Emory's indigo bush are now big enough to easily ID as it looks a bit like Astragalus from a distance.

On the route the Astragalus Aridus we found weeks ago, still in hardly visible bloom.

The hike was a lot more dangerous than last time, still the busy New Year week.
It was a free for all in the San Felipe Wash, adding a lot of tracks left and right into the drainages.
There are park rangers around, but the area is vast. We encountered a roadblock on the Military rd as we checked out the road by car.
We unfortunately encountered not highway legal vehicles within the park boundaries.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 63.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Jan/1/2019 Torote - Indian Gorge

A repeat of the Dead Borrego hike, with an on the hike change to loop following Indian Gorge. A bit longer, but that much easier, we just wanted to know, what happened to the Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle we found a year ago.
The skeleton was still there, but no germination, not surprising as this is just outside the Canebrake Thunderstorm area.

Dry at the start of the hike, but improving rapidly, wow the annuals are big. Unfortunately, this is Big Horn highway, let's hope there is something left on our next visit.
We underestimated the amount of shade in the canyon, not something you want with temps below 50, climbing helps.
Torote Canyon is surprisingly good with a lot of Senna armata | Spiny senna blooming and many to follow.
Again big annuals in Torote Canyon, but fading away closer to Indian Gorge Rd.
On the rest of the hike everything looks very dry, it obviously rained, but probably not enough.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 45.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/30/2018 June - Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado Loop

A return to the June Wash area, crossing over to Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado.
Germination was so good that we had a hard time, finding the fork in June Wash toward our trail head.
Good Germination in two stages (October and December) along our track.

We were pleased to find another location for Malperia tenuis | Brown turbans.
The Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush on our loop, are still in very good bloom, indicating a later bloom than in the June Wash.
Still many Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush in full bloom in June Wash, they do bloom for a long time.


Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 41.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/29/2018 Travertine Palms Wash

Passing the Inspiration wash, the pool was covered with ice, so temperatures have below freezing at night.
We are noticing plants right now that don't look that happy anymore.

On our last visit we looked at this nice green fork.
We needed more pictures of Chylismia claviformis aurantiaca, Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose, especially of the stem just above the basal leaves.
Still surprised by the very high number of Brandegea bigelovii | Desert star vine still in good bloom.
Lining the wash a high number of Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn, some in bloom.
This is a rocky wash that seems to be the favorite of Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar.
Still plenty of Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple in every drainage.

The bloom is close to what we found on our last visit and very good considering it's December.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/28/2018 Ella and Coachwhip wash

We combined both washes in one loop.
In good bloom: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, Dalea mollis | Silky dalea, Krameria bicolor | White rhatany, Asclepias albicans | White stemmed milkweed and Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster.
This was the area to check out the two Asclepias in bloom. The results all had 2 leaves and some were easy to ID by shape but not all, luckily most were in bloom.

Not good, we found over 13 Pennisetum setaceum | Fountain grass and as always in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 38.


Hike details, click on the photo's above

Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/26/2018 Military wash

It's unusual to find this area this green, so this is one of many hikes in the area.
Over half the species in the area are in bloom right now.
The highlights are Oenothera deltoides deltoides; Dune evening primrose, Geraea canescens; Desert sunflower and Abronia villosa villosa; Desert sand verbena.
Who knows what additional bloom the December rain will bring.

The only (big) minus point, the many Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard plants, most big and some in bloom.
Brassica tournefortii grows almost everywhere, but this is one of the favorite spots, it however doesn't seem to like alkaline soil.
This resulted in a nice patch of 100 meters free of Brassica tournefortii and filled with Geraea canescens.

We added a new plant to our list Astragalus aridus, Annual desert milkvetch a plant that seems to be rare. So far we found one in bloom and about 10 potential others.
As well as a new location for Lupinus shockleyi, Desert lupine and Cleomella obtusifolia Mojave cleomella, both in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/25/2018 Palo Verde Smoke Tree Loop

Driving by this looked so green.
Wow, this is one of the greenest places outside of the badlands right now.
Many Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush in full bloom and Krameria that otherwise almost never blooms right here.
Amazing how fresh Cylindropuntia ramosissima, Diamond cholla can look, they might even bloom this season.

Many Eschscholzia, poppy and some Ferocactus cylindraceus, California barrel cactus in bloom.
We've never checked the Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus Cottontop cactus right here, because of the dangerous location, this was the time to do so.
Our first Lupinus arizonicus, Arizona lupine of the season in bloom.

On our way back, first a few drops, but later measurable rain, probably close to 0.02 Inch.
So far the highest bloom count of the season.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 63.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/24/2018 June Wash

Group Tom Chester reports 710 plants of 55 species in bloom in June Wash.
Data set to Dec/23.
Tom Chester June Wash

Dec/24/2018 Ironwood West Loop

This was going to be our hiking day heading up to the foot of Whale mountain.
The October thunderstorm, just missed this area, although there is some germination from October and probably from December.
In all the drainages and washes you find Olneya tesota, Ironwood, even more than in Ironwood Canyon/wash.

This is prime cactus territory, very hard to avoid completely.
The surprise, far more than a hundred Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo in bloom, many in full bloom.
The bloom count got a big jump on the top of the hike.

Struggling and weird Ferocactus cylindraceus; California barrel cactus in abundance.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 26.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/22/2018 Thimble Palo Verde loop

Driving along the S22 we noticed the green plants, so this was a must go location.
The route is following the sandy stretches towards the Palo Verde Wash.
Wow what a great badlands bloom, if it wasn't for the 999999 Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard it would have been so much better.
This is the home of Helianthus petiolaris canescens, Gray desert sunflower and Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower.

A lot of grown up germination and secondary baby's from the December rain.
This might get much better,.
On our way back the whole area is covered with Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed, a very rare sight in December.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 42.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/21/2018 Big Wash North loop

This is an interesting area in the middle of the badlands. Big Wash and the wash north of it stick out, having a higher variety of plants.
The area got a lot of rain in October and a follow up in December, this is going to be even better in a couple of weeks.
Flowers from the start mixed with some badland stretches and again a lot of good looking plants.
Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, unfortunately, is one of the most common plants in all the washes.

The best find of the day Astragalus nuttallianus imperfectus; Turkey peas, almost impossible to find in the jungle of other plants.

This is the highest bloom count in December we've ever recorded and getting better.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 57.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/20/2018 San Felipe Wildlife area

Wow this looks dry and the number of blooming plants reflects that.
The highlight Baccharis salicina, Willow baccharis plants we hadn't found before in this area.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 7.



All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/18/2018 Mine Wash Loop

The main Mine Wash got a lot of water, probably in October.
Unfortunately, it didn't extend to the wash we went up, in other years this would have been a good wash considering it's December, but we are kind of spoiled right now.
Here we found one of the best blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens, Ocotillo right now.

Looping back along the main wash, the bloom appears as the canyon narrows.
Great Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush, hundreds of small Senna covesii, Desert senna and Marina parryi Parry's dalea many of the latter still in bloom.
Some Trixis californica californica, California trixis; Phacelia distans, Common phacelia; Physalis crassifolia Thick leaf ground cherry and Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora, Whispering bells in bloom.

Difficult to miss the happy Carlowrightia arizonica, Arizona carlowrightia, they seem to have bloomed not too long ago.
Just as in the other fork we visited a couple of weeks ago one Salvia apiana White sage in bloom.

All in all a good bloom in a very limited area.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 50.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/17/2018 Military Wash South

The area around the East Butte is great and upper Military Wash is great, so this was an obvious target.
The hike follows some of the many drainages of Military wash.
This might be the place, with the highest number of plants, that directly germinated from the October thunderstorm.
To make things even better there seems to be new germination from the December rain.

The bad thing; the many huge Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, this is their ideal habitat.
The other; the motor cycles that disregard all signs and just drive everywhere.

The best, this is the highest bloom count in December that we have ever recorded.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 43.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/16/2018 June Wash

A trip with group Tom Chester exploring the June Wash.
A lots of plants germinated in the June Wash area, hundreds of Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena are in bloom right now.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 45.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/13/2018 Travertine Palms

The October thunderstorm came down here as well, at least more than one Inch considering the many big Datura.
This is going to be another great spot the coming months.
The goal was to find the Brandegea bigelovii, Desert star vine again from our last visit in 2014.
They were in bloom almost next to our car, now we had to follow they all the way to the ABDSP boundary, probably 99 all the way beyond the ABDSP boundary.

We have been checking every Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in iNaturalist and here it was immediately clear this was something else, Chylismia claviformis aurantiaca within the ABDSP boundary.

This is such a great area right now. We will explore another fork soon.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/12/2018 East Butte Loop

In October a thunderstorm came down in Ocotillo Wells, from what we see on the ground, the bulk of the water came down about half way East Butte.
Germination is general, but mostly in the many drainages and along the San Felipe Creek.
Most abundant bloomers Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena; Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose and Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush.
The smell of Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush carries for hundreds of yards when there is such a high concentration of plants in exceptionally full bloom.
In the drainages hundreds of Datura discolor, Desert thorn apple, are in bloom, be early as they close during the day.

Blow Sand canyon has by far the highest concentration of Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard on this look.

Group Tom Chester is producing a very thorough plant survey of the area, look for the Tom Chester plant list in the hike link.

The bloom count is very high for December and may go up in the weeks to come if the temperature stays above freezing.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 51.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/11/2018 North Olla Wash

The Fish Creek Wash rearranged itself again after the recent rain, most of the water seemed to have originated out of the Camel Wash.
Germination and small plants in the Fish Creek Wash are mostly absent, we again lost a lot of plants in the wash.
Small plants started again past Sandstone Canyon. This time we decided to check out yet another fork.

The highlight of the day was a hummingbird protecting and feeding a Psorothamnus schottii Indigo bush.

Germination is good, but growing very slowly if at all, it's getting too cold.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 27.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/09/2018 North Palm Wash Loop

A very scenic loop in the upper part of a fork of the Palm Wash.
The wash is still slightly slippery, but not enough to hinder us.
Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily everywhere and some in bloom.
A high number of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in bloom as well as Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena.

What spoiled the fun; the high number of large Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, still none in bloom, but growing strong.
As expected, this is one of the better Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster washes.
We came along a plant that just looked like a Encelia farinosa by color, but it looked really weird, on closer inspection it was a Tidestromia suffruticosa oblongifolia, Arizona honeysweet, they are always a bit purple, but not this one.

Another reason we went over the mesa, a place were Phacelia neglecta, Alkali phacelia might live. We think we found 99 remains on the mesa, this means the plants are there in even higher numbers.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 28.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/08/2018 North of Canebrake loop

We visited part of this canyon last year, by a different route, unfortunately this one isn't much easier.
Many of the plants in this area must have been on the brink of death before the October thunderstorm.
Nice to find a Tarantula in our path that was still moving around.
WOW a Cylindropuntia ganderi, Gander's cholla in bloom and a Opuntia basilaris basilaris, Beavertail.

The canyon is good, but because of the recovering plants, less that we expected.

YES one of the few times a year you smell cheese, that gives Ambrosia salsola salsola, Cheesebush it's common name.
This is the were you see many Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus branch when they feel they aren't going to survive for much longer.
Resulting in many interesting barrel cacti, having destructive sheep around doesn't help either.

We had a lucky encounter with a larger herd of sheep (20+), that were walking around like there were no nasty cacti around.
The best part when they started eating on the Echinocereus engelmannii Engelmann's hedgehog, kicking it open in 2 seconds flat.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 31.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/07/2018 Ella Wash East Loop

We went by a couple of times and along the S22 this is the place with the best germination.
Exploring a couple of forks and looping back along Arroyo Salado Camp.
Germination is now in the teenager stage, maybe only weeks from general bloom.
Some Cylindropuntia echinocarpa, Golden cholla;Silver cholla, Krameria bicolor, White rhatany and Palafoxia arida arida, Spanish needles in bloom.
A lot of Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena and plenty of Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush in full bloom.
Again one Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily in bloom at Arroyo Salado Camp.

Our second check, the sunflower patch along Henderson Canyon Road, big, big surprise, the whole stream of the Coyote Creek (dry) is full of very big Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower, by the hundreds.
They might go into general bloom extremely early, like within a couple of weeks if it doesn't get too cold.
Number of different baby plants found: 10.

The bloom count in this area with many dead plants and a lot that came back from the brink of dead.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 23.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/05/2018 Lute Fault Scarp

We started at the second parking to the east, closer to were the rain fell.
The start was unexpected good, with a lot of interesting baby plants and Helianthus petiolaris canescens, Gray desert sunflower in bloom, weird as this a late spring bloomer.
The germination dropped and was low in the wide Rattlesnake Wash, suddenly good close to the Villager Peak route, but only at one spot.
Still a couple of Ferocactus cylindraceus, California barrel cactus in bloom and Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed.

A lot of Krameria in bloom, the best close to a host like a happy Larrea tridentata, Creosote bush.
Right now the smelly plant is Encelia frutescens, Button brittlebush, you can pick up the smell from a hundred feet or more.

Now we deviated from our normal route and went right for the S22. The sand on the other side of the road was like a magnet.
Unfortunately this side of the road (south) wasn't as good, 999 Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard already big, waiting for the rain to come.
The plant diversity is somehow much less on this side of the road.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/03/2018 Badlands trip by car

We wanted to check out the badlands.
Our trip: Butte Pass, San Felipe Wash along East Butte with good germination and bloom
Shell Reef Expressway, Barrel Spring Road, the fenced off sand dunes with Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat in full bloom
San Felipe Wash up to the 78, exit Pole Line Road with only one good spot, probably due to collected water, our first blooming Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily of the season.
Next stop Thule Wash and Eriogonum wash to check out two seeps, and finding more Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat in bloom.
Along the rest of the Pole line road hardly any germination.

But we picked up a considerable amount of blooming plants.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 49.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Dec/01/2018 Military Wash

We checked out Cut Across 'Road' about a week ago and Military Wash, seemed to be one of the greenest.
Starting from the San Felipe Creek, into Third wash that is called Cut Across at this point, the germination is general and out of the wash.
The patches of soft sand are ideal for germinating plants, but they might not get very big if the area won't get any additional rain.
We already found tiny Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in bloom, Abronia villosa villosa Desert sand verbena is in bloom creating small flower fields.

The bad; close to the 'road' it's also very green with Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, at least on the North side.
This is what we call Hilaria rigida Big galetta washes, dozens of washes lined with them and most in bloom.
The first surprise Rafinesquia neomexicana, Desert chicory in bloom, not one but several.
What took us really by surprise, Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Golden cholla;Silver cholla in good bloom, from our count at least 50% of the cacti are in good bloom and a lot more to come.

Encelia frutescens, Button brittlebush is one of the most overwhelming pleasantly smelling plants right now.

We still haven't found Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard in bloom, but these big plants will surely bloom here in very high numbers.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 27.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Nov/30/2018 June Wash - Viewpoint - Sandstone Canyon

The June wash along the 'road' is full of germination, probably with a low variation.
On the hike itself the germination was spotty.
We are hunting for new baby plants and finding baby Euphorbia eriantha, Beetle spurge was on the of the highlights of the day.
Opuntia basilaris basilaris Beavertail were already in bud for some time, this is the first plant we found in bloom this season.
On our way to the viewpoint, Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens are big and looking very well, this makes us believe there is a water source in this wash.
Once on the ridge above Sandstone Canyon, the view is stunning but dangerous because of the wind gusts.
The descent is interestingly steep and slippery.

We spend some time with a plant we couldn't recognize at first glance, an weird looking Baccharis brachyphylla Short leaf baccharis, maybe it got partially ripped from the narrow wash and what we see is regrowth or it go too much water and not enough sunlight.

Amazing that we picked up so many blooming plants on our trip.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 38.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/28/2018 Big Wash Loop

Big wash was high on our list for some time, now after the rain it finally seemed to be a good time.
Driving on the dirt 'road' along the 86, there is still a tiny pool of water and ditches with thousands of Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard as far as you can see.
Some Abronia villosa villosa Desert sand verbena in bloom, but no B. tournefortii in bloom yet, but what a healthy big B. tournefortii plants.

Up Big Wash one Asclepias erosa, Desert milkweed a typical early low desert bloomer that we do not encounter that frequently in full bloom.
We followed the 'road' up Big Wash, with very good germination and certainly not only B. tournefortii.
The B. tournefortii population density closely matches human activity, farther away from any road the population dwindles.

Krameria, both species in good bloom and a lot of healthy Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster with a couple in bloom.
Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed everywhere but sparsely, Allionia incarnata incarnata, Small flowered trailing windmills and Boerhavia wrightii, Wright's spiderling everywhere by the hundreds.

The first time this season, that we smelled Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush from far away, what a great smell it is.

This hike is very promising and high on our to return schedule.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 39.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/27/2018 Mine Wash East Fork Loop

We already knew the area should be good, but this was better than we expected.
Distracted by finding a bunch of blooming Matelea parvifolia, Spearleaf, we took a wrong turn, exploring extra washes and adding even more time to hike.
Germination is good from the start and dropped to almost nothing closer to the return point of the hike and going back up closer towards the car.
The most abundant visible bloomer Bahiopsis parishii, Parish's goldeneye.
Once close the ridge Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed everywhere and down hundreds more, just past peak bloom.
We've been here a couple of times before and missed the whole bunch of Carlowrightia arizonica, probably because they were so happy after the rain and in recent bloom.
The bloom count is great, but past peak and it took us over 5 hours to get to that point, picking up individual flowers along the way.

We found: Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 56.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/26/2018 Mud Palisades, Olla Wash

Germination started just beyond the Sandstone Canyon and turned very good at the bottom of Olla Wash.
Wow what a lot of germination, a lot of them already big (bigger than we've seen in the Canebrake area), the variation is not high.
This area obviously got plenty of rain, similar to what we found in Ironwood Wash, probably some a bit earlier, the germination certainly bigger.
The number of plants in bloom is good with many to come.

This was a great place to add sure baby plants, like Ambrosia salsola salsola Cheesebush and Hilaria rigida Big galetta.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 20.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/25/2018 Rockhouse Canyon South loop

The goal was to explore the Rockhouse Canyon south forks.
Area is dry, probably in bloom a month or more ago because some perennials are happy.

On our return, we took the Carrizo Wash North followed by the Vallecito Wash.
In the Vallecito Wash there is spot germination, but very low all the way up to the S2.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 22.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/23/2018 Thimble loop west

The goal was to find Euphorbia serpillifolia serpillifolia, Thyme leaf spurge, we reached that goal within 10 minutes.
This is a great scenic hike, that we have to follow up in March / April.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 15.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/22/2018 Torote Dead Borrego Loop

Following the path of the Thunderstorm Whale peak -> Canebrake, Torote Canyon is a likely next point.
At the start everything looks dry, but there are signs of recent flowing water.
Larrea tridentata Creosote bush in full bloom, very green Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo in the wash are a very good sign. Yes germination along the canyon wash and behind rocks and boulders. The germination gets better further up the wash, a wash that's so green it hurts.
So many baby plants wow, maybe the best find a baby Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo.

Still germination in the Torote bowl, but the germination dropped to almost zero on our return wash.

Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus almost in general bloom, we counted 27 in bloom not counting all the plants up on the slopes.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 31.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/21/2018 Whale squeeze loop

We hoped the Canebrake thunderstorm hit this part of whale peak, but it did not, leaving the desert in it's very dry state.
An excellent time to check out Ericameria teretifolia, Green rabbitbrush, now we know the true home, the number of plants must run in the hundreds along our route.
We found 99 Ericameria teretifolia, Green rabbitbrush in bloom, some must have been in full bloom a month ago.
The happiest Ericameria teretifolia on the shadow side of the canyon and at higher elevations.
To make things more interesting a couple of Ericameria brachylepis, Boundary goldenbush in bloom.
Most of the time the two separate by appearance, to be sure we checked most plants in bloom.

This is prime Nolina parryi, Parry's nolina territory, home to one of the largest, if not THE largest in the park.

Certainly not an easy hike, the scenery is well worth the trouble, the weather was perfect about 60 degrees, sunny and no wind.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 5.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/19/2018 17 Palms West Loop

This area got about 0.5 Inch of rain on October 13.
Good germination at the start of the hike, very good considering this area borders the real badlands were almost nothing grows.
The germination was there the whole hike, mostly in the wash and better in the western wash.
Very green Lycium brevipes brevipes Common desert thorn at the start of the parking.

Such happy Krameria are rare, the best next to Psorothamnus schottii Indigo bush and Larrea tridentata Creosote bush.
Many Encelia frutescens Button brittlebush in flower, but most still in bud.
Hilaria rigida Big galetta and Larrea tridentata Creosote bush are excelent rain indicators, happy and flowering.

This may be an excelent year for Eremalche rotundifolia Desert five spot and Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily.

After our hike the badlands tour, going up Arroya Salado it was puzzling, if it rained 1.5 Inch farther up the canyon, were did the water go, as the wash is void of germination.
Arroyo Salado camp(ground) is full of baby plants, some flowering annuals and Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily by the hundreds.
Compared to what we've seen in Canebrake, 1.5 Inch seem to be unlikely, more like 0.5 Inch.

Down the rough Ella Wash, hardly any germinations, up Palo Verde wash, some spotty germination, turning into Fault wash the germination was excellent.
Going down Fault wash there was indication of a lot of water, but hardly any germination. We checked the hills, no trace of germination.
Right on Cut across, good germinations, a bit more of the bad kind, this seems to be one of the most promising places. Considerable more bad plants, but not overwhelming yet.
Once up the San Felipe Wash, some germination from water that seems to be originated from the direction of Fonts point.
But the rest up to the Texas dip is just a very dry desert.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 22.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/18/2018 Ironwood wash Loop

The Canebrake (close to June Wash) October 13 thunderstorm lasted for over 1 hour and went up to Whale Peak and returned towards Canebrake.
The 0.56 Inch rain is enough for general germination in a tight area starting at Ironwood canyon up to and just past Canebrake.
In the Ironwood wash the flash flood was an estimate 1 foot, with plenty of germination in the wash.

While hiking up the Ironwood wash we noticed something yellow, no way a big Proboscidea althaeifolia Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant in bloom.
Along this hike we counted more than 50 plants with about 30 in bloom.

Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus are very early this year. (but only a couple of plants) This seems to be a good year for Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily in this area, in the Borrego Badlands and the Ocotillo off road area.
Give Krameria a bit of rain and the otherwise almost dead plant turns very much alive, with the help of other plants like Creosote and Indigo bush as it is a semi parasite.
The otherwise brown Larrea tridentata Creosote bush are so happy green right now and most in good bloom.
The above is off course only the case in area's hit by a thunderstorm, the rest of the desert is rather dry.

A bloom and plant list in included in the hike details link.
The bloom count is a combination of Tom Chester's list and ours.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 55.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/17/2018 Bighorn Nolina Loop

We found iNat entries from Bighorn canyon with flowering plants, unfortunately they turned out to be wrong, probably off by a couple of miles.
The canyon looks medium dry, with Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush close to end of bloom, some Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo and many Stephanomeria pauciflora Wire lettuce in bloom.
We checked every Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush, Ericameria teretifolia Green rabbitbrush and Isocoma acradenia eremophila Solitary leaf alkali goldenbush.
Weird that Ericameria teretifolia doesn't manage to go down into Bighorn Canyon, the plants we are finding seem to be on the edges of the bigger population higher up.

One of our goals was to check if the Petalonyx linearis Narrow leaf sandpaper plant survived the summer, and they did in Bighorn and Nolina canyon, probably barely but still producing some bloom.
This indicates Petalonyx linearis Narrow leaf sandpaper plant may not be a waif in this area.

What puzzled us; why are the Epilobium canum latifolium California fuchsia so good looking.
The Chilopsis linearis arcuata Desert willow must hit groundwater as they were fully leafed and happy.

We found zero baby plants.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 26.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/15/2018 Sentenac Cienega

Larry Hendrickson and Terry Hunefeld found a couple of must see plants, so in the swamp we went.
The area closely resembles a dry lake, with all the alkaline plants.
Other parts resemble (dry) springs and seeps.

Finally, we took the time to check out female Atriplex canescens canescens, Four wing saltbush for bloom, the flowers are almost invisible small.
Euthamia occidentalis, Western Goldenrod were still in bloom, so this already made the hike.
We found Laennecia coulteri, Coulter's Horseweed in bloom, another first for us.
What took us by surprise, a high number of Baccharis salicina, Willow Baccharis, in bloom no less. How could we have missed them, while driving by this often as they light up when in fruit.

This is a must go after rain as we found many mystery plants.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/14/2018 Fish Creek mountain

On the S78, driving towards the Salton Sea close to the West Butte road, the desert turned much greener, with green Ocotillo and blooming Creosote.
Taking the exit just past the Fish Creek Wash, heading along the gypsum railroad towards the Carrizo wash, still patchy green with germination in the washes that cross the dirt road.
Yes Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat 2 big plants in full bloom, we already reached our goal for the day.
Heading up the Carrizo wash is actually an easy drive. We did not want to go too far, ending up in the Impact area.
Nice blooming Isocoma acradenia (both varieties, not sure if they are actually the same) and Chilopsis linearis arcuata, Desert willow (white) in full bloom no less.
Great to find baby Chilopsis linearis arcuata Desert willow.

Heading back along the railroad, up to a wash that looked very green when we came in.
Interesting plants and spotty germination, great to find more Ephedra trifurca Long leafed ephedra.
The hike was not too easy, rocky with some boulders.
The bad thing, the railroad and the Carrizo wash double as a firing range, luckily today there wasn't that much activity.

Heading back, turning on the dirt (4x4 next to the Ironwood resort) road heading for blow-sand canyon, on the exit a lot of germination, with good stuff.
More germination towards and in blow-sand canyon, this looks pretty good, we are assured of at least some blooming plants in this area.
A couple of blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens, Ocotillo, the others green.

Slip sliding down blowsand canyon, meeting the San Felipe Wash with a lot of germination along the wash, next up Butte Pass road, here the plants turned brown again.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 30.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

Nov/13/2018 Sheep Canyon

In Coyote canyon the Ocotillo are leafed out, once in a while with a flower.

Finding the road at first crossing was fun, we drove back to make sure we didn't missed the road. The road is now following the rearranged flowing creek.
Second crossing was simple with some water as usual.
The last part of the road up to third crossing is rough, with a lot of rocks, third crossing is an obstacle, because you can't really see what's in the creek.

Collins valley doesn't look bad, obvious signs of local rain or flooding. Some Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed in bloom and a good display of Ericameria paniculata, Blackbanded rabbitbrush.

Going up Sheep canyon is rough with a lot of rocks and boulders, but not much water so we were able to follow the stream bed most of the time.
The area close to the creek is green with a lot of flowering plants in November.
More than 100 Boerhavia coccinea, Scarlet spiderling and Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii Climbing milkweed in bloom at the start of the hike.
Along the way many Baccharis sergiloides Desert baccharis male and female in bloom, YES the first time we found them in bloom ever.

The first fall was dry, so up we went to check it out, a fern we didn't recognize. Tom Chester ID Woodwardia, we didn't expect such a small plant.
Our goal was to find Lobelia cardinalis pseudosplendens Cardinal flower in bloom at the next fall, but we found no plants at all.
We found several White alder, Alnus rhombifolia we somehow missed on our previous visit, another new plant for us.

On our way back past first crossing a Asclepias subulata, Rush milkweed in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 24.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist

October/17/2018 Rodriguez Canyon

Tom Chester reports: Very dry conditions. From scissors crossing along the S2, five on our hiking in Rodriguez, one on the drive along oriflamme road, one in shelter valley and three additional along s2 in san felipe valley.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.

Click on a pictures to show more details.

    

Reports from previous seasons


Season: 2017-2018 Season: 2016-2017