Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers: Bloom report




Check out our 2020 Wildflower Calendar.

Did it rain? Where did it rain? We collect data from most of the professional local weather stations, click on the cloud below.
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Data are 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 difference 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 are 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 2019-2020 bloom report:

Bloom prediction for the Anza-Borrego Desert:


2020-February-17 We had significant rain in 2019

But after that everything stopped, finally 2/10/2020 new rain 0.1 - 0.5 Inch.
Germination is good and wide spread. In the low desert a lot of plants are already blooming often VERY small.
The new rain might turn things around.

This season doesn't look like a Superbloom, probably a normal bloom.
At slightly higher elevation it might be better

The bad news, Sahara Mustard, London rocket and other bad plants are thriving, by the millions, in some places 100% of the plants are non-native.
In the sandy areas Mustard is thriving, in general, the closer to cars/roads the worse it gets.
We had too many wetter seasons in a row, giving the non-native plants a good seed bank.
They generally don't like a couple of dry seasons, but so do we.

That said, there are still many areas with less mustard, often thanks to the pulling effort.

Easy to reach confirmed locations:

Glorietta Canyon and Yagui Meadows (washes/drainages just east of Glorietta Canyon) bloom normal.
Coyote Canyon half a mile past the asphalt up to first crossing, bloom normal.
Coachwhip / Ella Wash don't expect flower carpets, but you will find interesting flowers.
Alma Wash a.k.a. Elephant Tree Natural Area is above normal, as are washes to the north, bloom above normal for the area.

What will be good:
Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily, Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus, probably all cacti, Delphinium | Larkspur and most perennials.

Coyote Canyon:

Water in First, Second and Third crossing, at second crossing water is a bit deeper than usual.
Bloom is best between Zero and First Crossing.
A nice display of Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion, mixed with some Phacelia distans | Common phacelia, the occasional Rafinesquia neomexicana | Desert chicory and small Abronia villosa villosa , Desert sand verbena.
The display is good but not spectacular, for this area it's above average.

Lower Willows is still a problem, there isn't a good route yet, maybe for this season.
Part of the route is a dense pack of arrow weed, others turned into a pond.
For now only for the very adventurous, with enough water in case you don't find your way back.

Henderson Canyon Rd

This is one of the main flower tourist attractions.
Right now it's green with non-native plants, by the thousands, covering the entire area.
Some Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.

Fish Creek:

Tom Chester reported a good bloom in the Elephant Tree Natural Area 2/6/2020.
We checked out washes to the north and the bloom is certainly above average for the area.

Additional info:

Tom Chester Anza-Borrego Desert Facebook Anza-Borrego Desert SP Bloom page ABDNHA Bloom page

February/16/2020 Henderson Canyon begin


Time for an easier hike, from the start of Henderson Canyon.
Easy to get to and easy to hike.
Like in many other places Ambrosia salsola salsola | Cheesebush is smelling (too) strong, like goat cheese.

Bloom is OK, like a normal bloom.
Always great to find a couple of Antirrhinum filipes , Twining snapdragon in bloom.


Species in bloom: 59.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/15/2020 North of Clark dry lake loop


A lot of rain was recorded at Clark dry lake.
Time to explore an area we've never visited before, just north of Clarke Dry Lake.
Google Earth didn't show what to expect, so we just followed the flowers and ended up high in a drainage.
It took us over an hour to get to some flowering plants, except for the faint fields of Amsinckia | fiddleneck.
Almost no germination from direct rain, close to the drainage there was enough for a good flower show.

Up the drainage the bloom is just above normal, with great patches of one of our favorite flower Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
This is what peak bloom looks like. There will be more flowering plants in the following weeks like Chaenactis | pincushion, Nemacladus nemacladus and gilia.
The only thing holding the plants back and might result in short bloom, water/rain.


Species in bloom: 80.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/13/2020 Algodones Dunes South West


We knew from our previous visit that there was a nice patch of flowers at the start of this hike.
But not that the plants kept on going for miles.
West of the dunes endless fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
This is the first time the plants smelled overwhelmingly strong.

Mixed with Chylismia claviformis yumae, the huge Palafoxia arida gigantea and not to forget the plentiful and huge Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily.

The plant variation is unusually low, but makes up in it's abundance, producing huge flower fields.

In the drifting dunes itself the bloom drops to almost nothing, with Helianthus niveus tephrodes often the lone bloomers.
This is home of big Ephedra trifurca | Long leafed ephedra and huge Eriogonum deserticola | Dune buckwheat.

We like it that the later in the day bloomer Mentzelia longiloba is so easily identifiable.


Species in bloom: 33.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/12/2020 San Felipe Valley Wildlife area loop


Our goal was to find seedlings and we've never before found so many new seedlings.
Bloom is obviously still low, plants are recovering from the recent frost.

We think the San Felipe Wildlife area will produce an above average bloom this spring.


Species in bloom: 13.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/11/2020 Crazycline Gypsum Peak loop


The goal was to check and find more Petalonyx linearis | Narrow leaf sandpaper plant.
After 0.3 Inch of rain, it was interesting to drive into split mountain wash, being an actual creek.
The flow was mostly gone, but not the mud, I took a couple of kilograms mud back home. Luckily mud that washed off without too much effort.

Germination is pretty good, a lot of interesting plants are popping up.
I only found the Petalonyx linearis skeleton, but no germinating plants. Another waif, probably brought in by the sheep, that pass bye frequently.

It was pretty slippery after the rain up in the Gypsum area, but there was an old road, making things that much easier.
Bloom is pretty good for this area, with many Fagonia pachyacantha | Sticky fagonia and some Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
The best part, the nice folding sandstone formations, much better than the easy to access Anticline along the wash road.

We were finally able to taste fresh Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus, the plants probably washed down by the recent rain and cracked open at impact.
No traces of animal activity on the plant. The inner part tastes a bit like coconut, not really tasteful, but not real bad either.

A return visit is high on our list.


Species in bloom: 33.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/9/2020 Lizard Wash Chuckwalla Wash Loop


We were hesitant to go into the mountain area, a lot of clouds are nearing Borrego Springs.
Luckily we had sunshine most of our hike.
We still can't believe that a 2 hour 20 minute hike turned into an almost 4 hour hike.

On our way up, bloom was low except like everywhere else an abundance of blooming Justicia californica | Chuparosa.
In Chuckwalla wash things changed, some bloom at last. The wash is lined with Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn, some still in bloom, others seem to have been in recent spectacular bloom.
Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn generally isn't a bright flower, here we found one of the prettiest we've ever seen.

Big surprise, some early blooming Coleogyne ramosissima | Blackbush.
And our first Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus of the season.

Down into Lizard Wash proper, Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard popped up in annoying high numbers.

Bloom count is lower as expected at a higher elevation, but things look very promising, good green.


Species in bloom: 44.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/8/2020 Little Clark Dry Lake


Our first Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in bloom this season, in/close to the Anza-Borrego Desert.
Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard is overwhelmingly present, not much room for the other plants.
Germination isn't bad in places that aren't occupied by non-natives.

Many small Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, around the 'lake' many blooming Amsinckia tessellata tessellata | Bristly fiddleneck.
Some Phacelia ivesiana | Ives phacelia are already in bloom, together with many tiny Yellow comet, Mentzelia affinis.
One of the general bloomers in the desert right now Rafinesquia neomexicana | Desert chicory.
The usual bunch of small Nicotiana clevelandii | Cleveland's tobacco in bloom in partial shade.
A surprisingly happy bunch of flowering Astragalus crotalariae , Salton milkvetch close to the lake.

We were pleased to add a couple of new seedlings with cotyledons like Monoptilon bellioides | Desert star.
Picking up a gradually growing bloom count, especially along the mountain slopes.


Species in bloom: 53.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/7/2020 Collins valley - Box Canyon Dry lake


The bloom isn't too bad up Box Canyon, we are gradually adding new blooming plants.
This is one of the potential locations of the lost Lepidium flavum felipense , Borrego/Blair Valley pepper-grass.
Lost in Borrego Valley, but still present in Blair Valley.
Last time we found the whole 'lake' covered in, Sisymbrium irio | London rocket. This time the 'lake' is pretty barren.
Some Sphaeralcea angustifolia | Narrow leaf globemallow are popping up.

Going down the steep drainage, many Salvia vaseyi | Wandsage in the wash.
This was the main reason we took this loop, we've never seen Lupinus microcarpus | Chick lupine seedlings with its fused cotyledons, now there are hundreds.
Wow another strange plant Astragalus pachypus jaegeri | Jaeger's milkvetch a long way from home, normally found in the north end of Coyote Canyon.

The trail/wash into Lower Willows changed beyond recognition and belief, it's so open and many new plants out here.

The bad, there is zero maintenance on the trail into Lower Willows.
It's unbelievable how fast the trail changes from good to almost impossible to pass.
We knew the exact route, so we push true, following the creek, much harder than we expected.

The creek crossing is the point the trail normally gets easy, not now, the trail now runs over a pond, impossible to cross without going into water too deep for hiking boots.

It took us an hour or so to find a route out of the jungle.


Species in bloom: 60.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/6/2020 Elephant Tree Natural Area by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 37.

February/5/2020 Algodones Dunes


While entering the park, fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose and some Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily.
This area is mostly void of non natives, weird as it's close to a road with a lot of farm trucks.

Finally we spot a Palafoxia arida gigantea | Giant spanish needle, wow that's something way way bigger in all respects compared to Palafoxia arida arida | Spanish needles.
Here both variations are present.
This is home to Algodones dunes sunflower | Helianthus niveus tephrodes.

Maybe the biggest surprise the huge Eriogonum deserticola | Dune buckwheat, some obviously old. Most bend by the wind, with exposed roots because of the ever shifting sand dunes.

Once we spotted the large blooming Astragalus magdalenae peirsonii | Peirson's milkvetch on iNat, we were on our way.


Species in bloom: 28.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/4/2020 Diablo Dieguenos loop


We finally found a new route out the Diablo canyon on an old road.
This opened up the possibility to explore the area between the Dieguenos and Gert wash.

The germination is pretty good, most of the time you can see a green glow.
Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily are present by the hundreds, some very close to bloom.

While germination is good, plants are still small and need extra rain for a really good bloom.
Here we could add more seedlings for our collection. it's that much easier here as the number of plants to choose from is rather limited.
We were pleased to find many very green and some blooming Lycium plants along the banks or the wash. Lycium fremontii | Fremont's desert thorn and Parish's desert thorn | Lycium parishii

In general, this time of the year, the sandy badlands have a higher bloom count than the rest of the desert, but that should change soon.
Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard is present, but certainly not overwhelming.

Our goal was to find more Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster and we found only 50 or so. These are sorry looking plants, just hanging on like population south of the Sin Nombre.


Species in bloom: 36.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


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

February/2/2020 Yaqui Meadows Loop


Rain is overdue and plants are forced to bloom often too early, the resulting plants so far are rather small in this area.
Phacelia distans | Common phacelia is by far the most abundant bloomer, mostly around shrubs.
A couple of Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells and Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.

The germination is strong, hundred of tiny plants waiting for the next rain.
Here the blooming Phoradendron californicum | Desert mistletoe is by far the strongest smelling plant around, often recognizable at over 30 feet away.

We checked on the Spermolepis infernensis | Hellhole Scaleseed population on our track. They are doing just fine like an estimated > 1000.

Species in bloom: 30.


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.

January/31/2020 Dry Canyon area by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 37.

January/26/2020 Coyote Canyon second to third crossing Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 39.

January/22/2020 Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 20.

January/07/2020 Coyote Mtn Area by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 6.

January/03/2020 north of Henderson Canyon by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 2.

December/29/2019 Henderson Canyon by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 7.

December/19/2019 Truckhaven rocks by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 20.

December/14/2019 North West of Alcoholic Pass by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 5.

December/10/2019 Second Crossing / Ash Wash by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 20.

December/6/2019 Palm Canyon by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 8.

November/30/2019 Borrego Badlands by Tom Chester


Species in bloom: 4.

November/18/2019 Culp Valley - Bubbling Spring - Wilson Trail (route A1)


We decided to head up to the Wilson trail, when we noticed Dons iNaturalist posting of Erigeron foliosus foliosus | Leafy daisy.
A plant we've never seen in Culp Valley before.
Before we arrived at the point close to the Wilson trail, we already found 2 plants along the route we took.
So we were not disappointed when we couldn't find the iNaturalist plant as we added 2 more on our way down.

Along the route many Solanum parishii | Parish's purple nightshade and Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye.
And a surprise many blooming Clematis pauciflora , Few flowered clematis.

Especially pretty this time of year are the many Ericameria cuneata spathulata | Wide leaf rock goldenbush.

Still there are Malacothamnus enigmaticus | Enigmatic Bushmallow, many big plants, but also more recent germinated plants.
It's slowly replaced by Sphaeralcea ambigua | Apricot mallow.

Close to the Wilson trail, we did find the blooming Monardella linoides linoides | Narrowleaf monardella, posted by Don on iNaturalist.
We frequently see them, but it's rare to see them in good bloom.


Species in bloom: 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.

November/16/2019 Grapevine loop North


A rocky loop, maybe even too rocky and strenuous.
The bloom is average for the time of year, the most frequent bigger bloomer: Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye.

Species in bloom: 24.


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.

November/15/2019 Bergstrom Canyon


On our last visit to Buck Canyon, we spend so much time there that we were unable to complete our trip.
Now it's time to visit Bergstrom Canyon, a very interesting canyon as we found many interesting skeletons.

Last time we found an Erigeron sumatrensis | Tropical horseweed in Buck Canyon, I forgot to make a flower closeup.
And glad we did, we found other very interesting plants in the same spot like Stachys rigida quercetorum, we've never seen in bloom before, at least not this pretty.

Species in bloom: 25.


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.

November/13/2019 Thimble loop


Along a steeper south facing hill, a high number of small blooming Kallstroemia parviflora , Warty caltrop.
Many Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbus, still in bloom, mostly in the shade.

A Lonicera subspicata denudata , Southern honeysuckle in bloom, we don't see them in bloom very often.
We were very pleased to find many Eriogonum saxatile in their favorite spot, for now they seem to be rare in the Anza-Borrego Desert.
The many Monardella is another reason to return in spring.

Most striking this season, the unusual high number of annual Eriogonum | Buckwheat plants, probably due to the good spring rains.

Species in bloom: 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.

November/12/2019 Buck Canyon


A trip to explore Buck Canyon, close to Ranchita in BLM.
Mostly a hike following dirt roads, with lots of active springs and seeps along Buck Canyon.
It will take us weeks to explore this area in different seasons.
We added 3 new plants to our list.

Species in bloom: 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.

November/11/2019 San Felipe Wildlife area North


Exploring the northern part of the San Felipe Wildlife area.
One of the main quests, to check on the Opuntia engelmannii engelmannii | Engelmann prickly pear and Opuntia phaeacantha | Desert prickly pear.
Almost impossible to keep apart on shape alone.
Species in bloom: 17.


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.

November/09/2019 Blair Valley Granite Mountain Loop


Following the summer rain, close to the trail head a surprising number of blooming plants.
Several: Senna covesii | Desert senna, Krameria | rhatany and one Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus.
Scattered Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed.
Not a spectacular bloom, but the number of different plants in bloom is good for the time of year.

Species in bloom: 34.


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.

November/08/2019 Lower Willows


The goal was to hike up to Lower Willows.
The action is along the creek, so we followed the water whenever possible.

Trail, what trail, the changes here are massive since last seasons flash flooding.
The creek shifted, we were able to somewhat follow the stream, up to a real waterfall.
Next we went as north as possible following some sort of trail.

Clearly there are efforts to create a new trail, so far without much success.
The whole trip turned into a real bush walk, like going in blindfolded, sometimes there is no way to see what's going on in front of you.
The jungle is mostly of the none prickly kind. The real obstacles are several feet high, old flattened vegetation, impossible to pass.

In the middle of all that a great find Malacothamnus fasciculatus | Chaparral bush mallow, the only plant we knew existed, close to first crossing, is now gone, washed away.
Here are great fields of Isocoma acradenia eremophila | Solitary leaf alkali goldenbush.

All of a sudden, no way a real great blooming Erythranthe cardinalis | Scarlet monkeyflower in the middle of the creek at it's favorite spot out of direct sunlight.
On our way back, we encountered a hidden pool, impossible to get around.
We made our way to a great field of blooming Phragmites australis | Common reed and were able to get out of the jungle.

Species in bloom: 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.

November/07/2019 Domelands wind caves Loop


The goal was to get a better look at Nevada indigo-bush | Psorothamnus polydenius, as this might be the only place in our area with four plants in the genus Psorothamnus.
We did find Psorothamnus emoryi | Emory's indigo bush in bloom and did catch the leaves of Psorothamnus polydenius | Nevada indigo bush that we wanted to see.

This is one of the best and most scenic hikes around and not that many different plants, a dryer place is hard to find.
Even so we were busy checking out plants left and right, seeing all the old friends again.

One of the highlights, a group of Eriogonum deflexum deflexum | Flat topped buckwheat, with basal leaves, probably germinated 6-7 weeks ago.

We added many plants to one of, or maybe the shortest plant lists we have.

Species in bloom: 16.


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.

November/05/2019 Cool Canyon Loop 3


We hiked along a couple of Carlowrightia arizonica | Arizona carlowrightia populations, we've never seen these in bloom here.
These plants have the typical 'grazed' form, that means they hardly get a change to produce short lived flowers.
They did have some fresh fruit, so bloom must be fairly recent.
This is the domain of Prunus fremontii | Desert apricot, making the hike a bit more challenging.
Also one of the few locations with Heteropogon contortus | Tanglehead, blooming right now.

One of the highlights, a couple of weird Eulobus californicus | California suncup;False mustard, that we would have missed if they were out of bloom.
They somehow survived the summer and looked more like perennial plants.

Species in bloom: 22.


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.

November/04/2019 Ella Wash Loop


About 6 weeks ago, Ella and Smoketree wash flash flooded.
We explored a new area of Ella wash.

Things look very green compared to other the rest of the badlands.
On our trip we picked up 9 different germinating species.

The main bloomers: Eriogonum deflexum deflexum | Flat topped buckwheat, Funastrum hirtellum | Hairy climbing milkweed and Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills.
Just after the last leaves are gone, some Fouquieria splendens splendens , Ocotillo are in bloom.
Unusual one Opuntia basilaris basilaris | Beavertail in bloom, very rare for them to bloom out of season.

On paper it looks like a short hike, but it's an area filled with deep canyons/gullies and steep falls.
We spend and extra hour finding an acceptable route.

Next our car trip took us down Ella Wash (good), into Palo Verde Wash (good), Cut Across (dry), up Fault Wash (slightly better), Short Wash (dry), Fonts Point Wash (dry except for the Desert Willows).

Species in bloom: 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.

November/02/2019 San Felipe Wildlife area, unnamed wash north of Arkansas


The goal, to explore a wash we've never visited before.
No water in the creek for some time, the bloom sure gets better higher up.

The bloom is significantly less than in the previous years.

Pretty Epilobium canum sp | California fuchsia and Solidago velutina californica | California goldenrod.
We added another oak to our list Quercus engelmannii | Engelmann Oak.

Had to be extra careful, when we encountered numerous big Toxicodendron diversilobum | Pacific Poison Oak.

Don't trample the Aphonopelma eutylenum | California Ebony Tarantula, they are big and moving slow.

Species in bloom: 22.


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.

November/01/2019 North Pinyon Mountain Loop


The goal, to find the boundary of the summer rain, that hit a small area north of Whale Peak.
And time is running out, the rain been long ago and the temperatures first high and later freezing, so most plants are winding down.

Certainly an interesting rough hike, some spotted Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed, the good general bloomer is Ericameria brachylepis | Boundary goldenbush.

We've been hiking various parts to find Euphorbia revoluta and were certainly not expecting any here.
But all of a sudden no way there they were, small but very recognizable plants.
The first impression a few plants, not enough for a voucher, but after spending an hour at the location we were finding more and more and estimated the population at 30-100 plants.

Species in bloom: 25.


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.

October/30/2019 Wind Caves - Gypsum Peak


In Fish creek the Desert willow | Chilopsis linearis arcuata are looking great, with a couple in good bloom.
The goal was to check on the Narrow leaf Sandpaper Plant | Petalonyx linearis.
We only found some might have been skeletons, zero plants alive.

Finding full blooming Krameria erecta | Pima rhatany and Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo was the highlight of the trip.

Surprisingly this is the home of hundreds of Pygmy cedar | Peucephyllum schottii one of the few plants that seem to be able to live in the Gypsum rich soil.

Species in bloom: 19.


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.

October/29/2019 Arkansas Canyon


A survey of the San Felipe Wildlife area.
From the S2 the area is dryer than we've ever seen it.

Up a fork of Arkansas Canyon things improved some.
Heading back down another fork, things got better, here we found several plants in bloom.
The canyon creek probably stopped flowing a couple of weeks ago, according to the dried flowers, we most likely missed some interesting plants in bloom.

Species in bloom: 37.


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.

October/28/2019 Whale West Loop


This part of Whale Mountain should be good, due to the recent rain.
Not as good as our previous loop, but the bloom is good for the time of year.

The most numerous bloomer right now is probably Euphorbia setiloba | Yuma spurge.
Most striking, we've never encountered an area with Opuntia chlorotica | Pancake prickly pear this numerous.

Pleased to see one Ericameria teretifolia | Green rabbitbrush, just out of their main habitat around Pinyon Mountain.
Later in the day we found 99+ east of Pinyon Mountian and most if not all in bloom.
Here we searched for Eriogonum saxatile | Rock buckwheat and found several with fresh leaves, now we have to find out when they bloom.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/25/2019 Little Blair Valley Loop


The bloom was good just before the northern Whale peak trail head and reports from Blair Valley suggested rain a couple of weeks ago.
This was even better than expected, thousands of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed in bloom, producing an ever present distinct smell.

All kind of perennials in good bloom even the Sphaeralcea angustifolia | Narrow-leaved Globemallow in the tiny lake above.
Here we found our first blooming Mollugo cerviana | Carpetweed, a thread plant growing by the thousands.

Even in Little Blair Valley proper, while more cooked the bloom still continued, with blooming Kallstroemia parviflora | Warty caltrop and Hilaria rigida | Big galetta.
For us a new blooming plant, Digitaria californica californica | Arizona cottontop, likely introduced at this location and the only known location in San Diego County.

Species in bloom: 47.


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.

October/23/2019 Pinyon Mountain


A survey between Pinyon Mountain and Whale Peak, to find Euphorbia revoluta.
The rain probably just missed the Euphorbia revoluta area.
Driving up the dirt road, things got better and better, many Bahiopsis parishii , Parish's goldeneye in bloom and Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed.
The bloom dropped reaching the Euphorbia revoluta locations.

Wow the best blooming Ericameria cuneata spathulata | Wide leaf rock goldenbush, we've ever seen.
Many good blooming Ericameria teretifolia | Green rabbitbrush up the many drainages.
Yes, we could add another new plants to our list, San Jacinto buckwheat | Eriogonum apiculatum.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/22/2019 Big and Little Laguna lake loop


Mount Laguna reported about half an inch of rain by the end of September.
This is probably the driest higher elevation place we visited this season. Temperatures are close to, or below freezing, that might have something to do with the lack of bloom.

So we able to do a "normal" hike around the meadow.
The highlight of the trip to add a new mistletoe to our list, Arceuthobium campylopodum | Western Dwarf Mistletoe, in bloom no less.
The wind was rather strong, so that made making flower pictures a challenge.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/21/2019 Oriflamme Canyon


Would there be any sign of the recent rain in Oriflamme? Unfortunately not, we didn't find any water in the creek.
The highlight: perfect Oenothera elata hirsutissima | Hooker's evening primrose, not easy to find a fresh night bloomer, even when you are early in the morning.
Bees are very active in Ericameria brachylepis | Boundary goldenbush that are almost in prime bloom.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/19/2019 Golden Queen mine lake loop


We hoped to catch some new plants in bloom and we did.
Finding fresh Hairy thyme leaf spurge, Euphorbia serpyllifolia hirtula in the very dry drainage was the highlight of the day.
A surprise, one Frangula californica tomentella , Hoary coffeeberry still in bloom.

We just missed a few bloomers, that we probably would have seen 2 or 3 weeks earlier, something for next season.

Species in bloom: 33.


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.

October/18/2019 PCT Warner Springs north B3a


Up the PCT towards Lost Valley Rd.
On the bike down a single good blooming Adenostoma sparsifolium , Red shank.
The PCT looks as dry as it gets. No water in the creek for some time, but eventually it's a real creek.

A couple of Warner springs lessingia | Lessingia glandulifera tomentosa are blooming great.
Still some Eriastrum densifolium elongatum | Giant woolly star that survived blooming in the shade.
We never realized there were so many Ericameria pinifolia | Pine goldenbush on this part of the trail, most of them in bloom.
Finally some Epilobium canum latifolium | California fuchsia and Castilleja minor spiralis , Lesser paintbrush.
Along the creek a lone Erythranthe cardinalis | Scarlet monkeyflower, just past bloom.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/17/2019 Hawi Vallecito - Storm Canyon Mountain loop short


Time to check out the area around Vallecito.
This looks dry except for a couple of Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed close to our parking.

This time we wanted to take a shortcut, to stay within a 4 hour hike.
A short panic attack with the camera that showed write protected and refused to do anything.

Euphorbia polycarpa , Small seeded spurge responded to the rain and some big Datura wrightii , Jimson weed in the washes.
Stephanomeria is blooming all over.
Otherwise the washes are void of plant life as it usually is out here.
Some pretty Eriogonum plumatella , Yucca buckwheat, some of the best we've ever seen.

A bit higher up towards the saddle plant life improved with some blooming Prunus fremontii , Desert apricot.
Down the shortcut a lot of boulders that were relatively easy to avoid. Below many Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii , Climbing milkweed, starting to bloom.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/14/2019 Cuyamaca Peak Loop


We planned to hike up Cuyamaca Peak, the scenic way, picking up as many plants as possible.
Bloom isn't abundant but we did managed to add many blooming plants to our list.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/12/2019 Culp Valley Springs


This might be the densest collection of springs anywhere in the Anza-Borrego desert, year round water and a swamp.
The hike we took is a jungle tour, but an easy stroll is an option as well.
Always interesting, with some of the most spectacular Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia we've ever seen.

Signs of summer rain, like Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed and many, too many, germinating Erodium cicutarium , Red stem filaree.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/11/2019 Pct Warner Springs to Eagle Rock


The Warner spring area didn't get too much summer rain and that's visible.
Bloom isn't very high along the PCT, except for the fields of Lessingia glandulifera glandulifera , Sticky lessingia.

Luckily there are a couple of springs in the drainages below the PCT.
Here we picked up a lot of bloom and a couple of new plants.
Like Cursed buttercup, Ranunculus sceleratus and Western vervain, Verbena lasiostachys.
This must be prime time for Tribulus terrestris , Puncture vine.

Making this up to now, the highest bloom count of the new season.

Species in bloom: 54.


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.

October/10/2019 Marty Minshall - Los Vaqueros loop


Time to revisit, this is dryer than West Mesa further along the 79, that's for sure.
Things got better close to our half way point, adding new plants is always nice.

Species in bloom: 25.


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.

October/08/2019 West Mesa Monument Loop


It's hot so we were eager to go higher up, into Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
A pleasantly easy hike in perfect weather, bloom winding down and we catching the last of them.

Been a long time ago, adding this many new blooming plants.
One of the highlights Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon and Erigeron foliosus foliosus , Leafy daisy.

Species in bloom: 32.


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.

October/07/2019 San Felipe Wildlife area


This is our survey area for the next season(s).

Right now is time for Stephanomeria exigua deanei , Slender wreathplant deanei in very high numbers, an otherwise almost invisible plant
Beautiful Eriogonum elongatum elongatum , Long stemmed buckwheat and Corethrogyne filaginifolia , California aster.
Some Mirabilis multiflora pubescens , Giant four o'clock are still in bloom, but way past their prime.

Higher up the vegetation is growing back after the fire and covering the old roads.
Here the hike turns into a partial bush walk, still adding some blooming plants, but not many.
Most of the action is closer to the San Felipe Creek (active).
Here we added plants we've never seen before.

Perhaps the most abundant visual bloomer right now is Isocoma acradenia eremophila , Solitary leaf alkali goldenbush.

The smell of peanut butter from the hundreds of Datura wrightii , Jimson weed is everywhere.
One our way back many Tribulus terrestris , Puncture vine in bloom and even more big Boerhavia coccinea , Scarlet spiderling.

Species in bloom: 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.

October/05/2019 San Felipe Wildlife area Banner Creek


Our survey along Banner Creek.

Warning: Banner Creek is a closed off area, accessible by permit only.

Species in bloom: 29.

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

October/04/2019 Sheep Canyon


The goal is to find Lobelia cardinalis pseudosplendens , Cardinal flower in bloom. We knew a sure location, but last time they were no longer present
The dry Palm Canyon didn't make us very hopeful.

Coyote canyon looks extremly dry, no sign of the recent rain, the Ocotillo and Creosote might be a bit greener.
Once past first crossing plants looked much better, the perennials that is.

To be able driving the bypass road was the big question. Third crossing was interesting and slightly muddy.
Going great until the rocky stretch, it looked like no way.

While walking up the road, it seemed we should be able to make it. It beats a couple of hours hiking.
Barely over some small boulders and yes we arrived in Collins valley.

Here plants are even greener, not a bad sign.

As expected, we were able to follow the dry creek most of the way.
The best blooming plant: Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia.

At the dry fall, the known location we suddenly noticed one Lobelia cardinalis pseudosplendens , Cardinal flower in bloom.
It was kept alive with a few drops of running water.
Now after the third try we finally found them in bloom YES.

Back along the bypass road was slightly easier, on brakes we can go a bit slower.

Plant life along Coyote Canyon isn't too bad, the water is still flowing at Third and somewhat at Second crossing.

Species in bloom: 17.


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.

October/02/2019 Sentenac Cienega


We were eager to go back and check out the plants we couldn't ID last time around.
The 2019 spring rain caused the plants to explode, the once easy hike is now a hard and almost impossible hike.

Wanting to find Bassia hyssopifolia, a highly invasive plant and we sure did by the thousands, compared to zero the last time around.
Many first time bloomers for us on this trip, so it was well worth the effort.

This turned into an almost impossible hike, at our halfway point were we found a few Euthamia occidentalis , Western goldenrod last year.
Now there are hundreds if not thousands, forming an almost impregnable jungle.
For a route, even Cirsium vulgare, Bull thistle looked more inviting than everything else. We did the unthinkable, trying to find the highway and even that turned out to be tough.

Species in bloom: 34.


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.

October/01/2019 Palm Canyon


WOW this is dry looking, no flowing water, only way past the first palms, past the boulders, at the narrow point of the canyon.
The plants are greener along the dry stream bed.

The highlight of the hike, a new location for Imperata brevifolia,California Satintail.

Species in bloom: 13.


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.

September/30/2019 Pena Spring

There is now a deeper gully towards Pana Spring, many Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth a clear sign of recent rain.
Last season we've noticed skeleton plants that might be monkey flower.
We were stunned to find many Erythranthe cardinalis, Scarlet Monkeyflower in bloom, a rare appearance in de Anza-Borrego Desert.

Bloom is pretty good with the less flashy Baccharis sergiloides , Desert baccharis in good bloom.

Species in bloom: 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.

Reports from previous seasons

Season: 2018-2019 Season: 2017-2018 Season: 2016-2017