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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

Warning this the archive and does NOT represent actual bloom

.

The 2016-2017 bloom report:




04/26
A quick check in the Clark Dry Lake area.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 20.


04/24
We liked the area on our previous hike, so we added another part of the PCT to our list.
This way we could check out the plants from Fages Monument up to the PCT for new additions. It was 3 weeks since our last visit.
Plant wise, the most interesting parts are from Fages <-> PCT and close to Kwaaymi Point. We added a couple of new species to our list.
This part of the PCT is still close to peak bloom.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 97.

Pictures: PCT Fages to Kwaaymi Point


04/22
A loop along the CRH back along the Soapstone Grade and Upper Green Valley trail.
Great display of flowers, many new to us.
Best smelling shrub along the route: Chaparral whitethorn, Ceanothus leucodermis.
On our way back we checked out two flower fields of white (Parish's meadowfoam, Limnanthes alba ssp. Parishii ) and yellow (California goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis).

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 89.

Pictures: CRH - Soapstone Grade - Upper Green Valley - La Cima trail


04/21
A return to the PCT, now between Angelina spring and the water stop.
One of the goals was to check out the Nemacladus ramosissimus we found on our last trip along the PCT, at that time not in bloom.
Most prominent bloomers along the PCT: Desert globemallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua rugosa and Yellow tackstem, Calycoseris parryi
We found Nemacladus ramosissimus way earlier and in good numbers along our trail.
So far we are finding only Long flowered threadplant, Nemacladus longiflorus var. longiflorus in the Anza-Borrego Desert, but no breviflorus.
The bloom is visibly going downhill, but surprisingly the bloom count doesn't show this feeling.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 52.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 106+2 along the road.

Pictures: Pct Angelina spring to Grapevine Canyon


04/19
A visit to Culp Valley up Culp Valley Road and a short hike.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 71.



04/18
The goal was to check out the Nemacladus longiflorus var. breviflorus we found last year. We noticed germination earlier this year, the big surprise it turned out something else: N. longiflorus longiflorus.
Did the N. longiflorus var. breviflorus turned N. longiflorus longiflorus?

Our next goal was to check out the probable skeleton location of Golden bowl mariposa lily, Calochortus concolor. Strange enough we found nothing, not even the leaves we found a couple of months ago, weird.

At a small seep, a huge surprise: Common monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus, that's an unusual place for them.
Two years ago Giant four o'clock, Mirabilis multiflora pubescens were rare in the area, now they are present in good numbers and big.
Odora, Porophyllum gracile is one of the strong smelling plants on this hike. They seem to be smelling the strongest just before bloom.
Like in a lot of other locations, Chinese houses, Collinsia concolor is present in abundance and rather big.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 92.

Pictures: Pena Spring - California Loop


04/17
A must go hike, to a wonderful area that is at it's peak right now.
We checked almost every Gilia, for any signs of an unusual one.
Very unusual: Giant fields of Fremont's pincushion, Chaenactis fremontii everywhere and fields of White tidy tips, Layia glandulosa.

On this trip we found a couple of rare plants:
Stebbins's desert dandelion, Malacothrix stebbinsii our second find in the park this year.
Cleveland's desert dandelion, Malacothrix clevelandii our first find ever.
In fairly high numbers Three lobed oxytheca, Sidotheca trilobata (100+)
This is the year of unusually colored plants like one very light colored Parish's goldeneye, Bahiopsis parishii.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 97+5 along the dirt road.

Pictures: Whale squeeze loop


04/16
A loop in the San Felipe Wildlive preserve, in San Felipe Valley.
Certainly an place to revisit next season.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 52.



04/14
Our goal for today, determine what kind of mallow, Sphaeralcea we found last time.
The bloom was still good for such a bleak area. Best of all we added two new species to our list Gravel milkvetch, Astragalus sabulonum and Common sunflower, Helianthus annuus.
We skipped part of the hike, so we wanted to check out Blowsand canyon and to find Ironwood, Olneya tesota in bloom.
Along the Goat trail everything was still surprisingly good and in the Butte Pass road no Ironwood in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 34+23.

Pictures: Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop


04/12
Our goal for today, finding Pink velvet mallow, Horsfordia alata, so our slightly different route takes us just south of the voucher location.
On our way a big surprise, a couple of Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata in good bloom, fields of Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa and Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata.
A couple of locations with Miniature woolly star, Eriastrum diffusum in bloom. Now up to the voucher location, we made our way back north along the hillside and almost gave up when Carla found the first Horsfordia alata in good bloom YES.
We found a total of 3 Horsfordia alata, all in bloom, but there may be more up the huge boulder drainage.
Another good find were a couple of Eastern threadplant, Nemacladus orientalis, that we've been missing for a while.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 98.

Pictures: The Potrero loop



04/11
We visited Rainbow canyon on 07/01 and counted 25 species in bloom.
April is the best time to visit Rainbow Canyon and it didn't disappoint us.
We hiked Rainbow Canyon up to Blair Valley and did a bike shuttle.
In excellent bloom and in high numbers Intermediate larkspur, Delphinium parishii subglobosum and Fringed onion, Allium fimbriatum fimbriatum.
One of the dominant bloomers: Sigmoid threadplant, Nemacladus sigmoideus in high numbers. We counted 4 Nemacladus species in bloom.
In good numbers stumpy Long flowered Threadplant, Nemacladus longiflorus longiflorus.
It was going back in time a couple of weeks in this outstanding canyon.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 110.

Pictures: Rainbow canyon



4/10
A hike from Grapevine Canyon up to Barrel Spring.
This is a wonderful part of the PCT, hardly damaged by the fire and a nice collection of flowering plants.
One of the goals of the trip was to locate the Malacothamnus along the PCT. And we did find 4 plants still alive along the 50+ dead plants.
At the start a high number of Scarlet bugler, Penstemon centranthifolius and Giant four o'clock, Mirabilis multiflora pubescens in bloom.
Along the PCT many Bush poppy, Dendromecon rigida, and even more Blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum capitatum.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 118

Pictures: Pct Grapevine Canyon to Barrel Spring



4/8
A return to our loop hiked at 2/1, it was good then, now even better.
The main purpose was to check the flower color of Horsfordia and to count Carlowrightia arizonica.
Carlowrightia arizonica to our surprise were in such good bloom, that they were very easy to spot. We've never seen them this big and in full bloom.

Other very good blooming plants: Rock hibiscus, Hibiscus denudatus and Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis arcuata.
The strongest smelling plant of the hike: Catclaw acacia, Senegalia greggii.
Finally blooming Desert woolly star, Eriastrum eremicum eremicum in fair numbers and Wire lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora pauciflora in low numbers.
Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa doing fine, so this happens when they don't get eaten, they bloom rather long period of time.
Again a close encounter with a rattlesnake.

We found: Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 83 + 3 along the Carrizo wash road.

Pictures: Rockhouse canyon - Four Frogs canyon loop



4/7
This hike takes us to the upper part of a Glorietta Canyon fork.
Grass (Red brome, Bromus madritensis rubens) is very dominant in the area, leaving less room for annuals.
In unusual high numbers: Blue Dicks, Spanish houses.
In unusual low numbers: Woolly Star (non found).

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 94

Pictures: Culp Valley - upper Glorietta Canyon loop



4/5
A return visit to this higher elevation hike.
Small fields of Douglas' violet, Viola douglasii and California buttercup, Ranunculus californicus.
Larger fields of California goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis and Erodium.
From the scrubs Cup leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus perplexans was in excellent bloom, at higher elevations.
Our favorite Bush poppy, Dendromecon rigida dotted the area.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 78

Pictures: Fages monument - CRHT - PCT - Loop



4/4
A hike up Grapevine Peak from the west along a route we've never hiked before.
We knew the first part of the hike would include Wide throated yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus brevipes and we were not disappointed.
Encountering more and steeper dry falls than expected going up to the PCT and not to forget slippery terrain.

Just after we left the PCT an aggressive rattlesnake, so we had to move around it and were way more alert.
The flower display is very good. with displays of Brittlebush and Wild canterbury bells.
Back along the PCT the bloom was even better, surprisingly good looking big Whispering bells and Hairy blazing stars.
This is our Nemacladus hunting season, they are rather rare in the area, but we found yet another location of Long flowered Threadplant, Nemacladus longiflorus longiflorus.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 80
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 57

Pictures: Grapevine Peak west



4/3
From the S2 it looked solid yellow in the direction of the Storm Canyon, so we had to go quickly.
The area around Storm Canyon is one of the densest brittlebush fields in and close to the Park.
Brittlebush bloom is unbelievable, such dense fields and still in good bloom.
The place to see the special flowers and we were not disappointed. We added a new plant to our list: Smallflower threadplant, Nemacladus ramosissimus.
And a staggering high bloom count, caused in part by the fact that this hike is closer to 3000 feet, it's like going back in time for a couple of weeks.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 106

Pictures: Hawi Vallecito - Lower Storm Canyon loop



3/31
A revisit to the area to check out Palmer's jackass clover, Wislizenia refracta ssp. palmeri, not grown much in the past weeks.
It was one of the best places for windflowers and the caterpillars haven't arrived in full force yet. It seems that plants will be out of bloom, before they get eaten.
The top of food list for caterpillars Lupinus shockleyi, Primrose, Sand Verbena. It's now easier to check what they like with fewer caterpillars around, just by following the tracks. Amazing to see how they sometimes miss their favorite plants by inches, they also try to reach up at random, just to make sure there isn't something tasty above them.
This time we took the short version of the loop and only visited the interesting spots.
We added Harwood's woollystar, Eriastrum harwoodii to our list.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 43

Pictures: Clark Dry Lake loop



3/30
Another must do hike in a fork of Torote canyon and back in Indian Valley.
The area is just past prime bloom, Brittlebush is almost out of bloom here, but Senna is now the dominant yellow bush along this hike.
The smelly plants along the route right now are Dogweed, Odora and Senna.
One of our goals was to check Indian Valley for Linanthus maculatus emaculatus, just in case we missed it previously, none found.
On our route we added one new species to our list Stebbins's desert dandelion, Malacothrix stebbinsii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 92

Pictures: Torote - Indian Valley loop



3/29
Our follow up hike towards Ant Hill.
We liked to know what happened to all the germination along the route.
A prominent bloomer in flower fields: Gray desert sunflower, Helianthus petiolaris canescens.
Caterpillars are out in full force, but once in a while they didn't reach an area yet and the bloom was still good.
Still very good patches of Dune evening primrose, Oenothera deltoides deltoides and Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa, but it will only last for a couple of days before they are gone.
Most striking, most the germination we found over a month ago turned into fields of pincushion, Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, not very noticeable as they are white and not densely flowered enough.
Lupinus shockleyi seem to be very tasty, as all but a few have been eaten, sometimes fruit and all. Persistent cotyledon doesn't mean forever and without cotyledon/leaves it's tricky, so fruit made the ID confident.
Even here Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii was in excellent bloom.
The bad: Brassica tournefortii has taken over large portions of the sandy area.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 63

Pictures: Ant Hill loop



3/27
A loop hike from Bow Willow to Rockhouse canyon was long overdue.
Our expectations were high as this is close to our excellent bloom hike in Inner Pasture.
Along the route there are an incredible number of Senna and Britlebush in bloom.
Indigo bushes in full bloom are a sight to see and above all to smell, they are by far the strongest smelling plant in the desert right now.
Most cacti are in bloom and Desert woolly star, Eriastrum eremicum eremicum are about to go.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 106

Pictures: Rockhouse Loop



3/26
A loop completely off the beaten track, off the busy pictographs trail.
The boulder rich terrain and south facing terrain are ideal for a good bloom.
This was our third try to find Thymophylla pentachaeta var. belenidium in bloom, so we had a pretty good feeling for the terrain, so this time we recorded the route as a BorregoHiking.com hike. Finally we found T. pentachaeta var. belenidium in good bloom, we did a quick survey and found only 3 plants left all in bud and 2 in bloom.
We didn't visit all known locations but it seems that the populations shrank considerably, not surprisingly after 5 very dry years.
Twining snapdragon, Antirrhinum filipes an otherwise rather rare plant is present in unbelievable high numbers > 99. The display of flowers is already very good on this elevation, it seems we visited very close to prime bloom.

Warning: For experienced rough/boulder terrain hikers only.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 92

Pictures: Smuggler Canyon Loop (upper)



3/24
This is our must do loop for the season, hiking in two very different canyons, with a good variety of flowers.
The first pleasant surprise was to find Epipactis gigantea in good bloom, they are a lot bigger than the plants in Hellhole canyon.
It took us a while to get out of the shade, so many interesting plants.
This sure is the time for Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa to bloom everywhere.

In Inner Pasture it was time for the tiny plants as we spent a considerable time very close to the ground.
Linanthus maculatus emaculatus was present in good numbers, probably just past peak bloom. Almost everywhere we stopped in the sand, we eventually found them, the populations must be huge as we probably found more than 1000 plants on our stretch.
The bonus being close to the ground was finding five kind of Nemacladus on this hike and one we've never seen before in Bitter Creek.
That means that most Nemacladus found in the park are present in this area.
Going back the Inner Pasture wash is never really pleasant, too many hikers transform the otherwise firm wash into a deeper soft sand wash. But it beats going up the wash.

The trip back parallel to the S22 was a dense Brassica tournefortii field on both sides of the wash, terrible.
We already had a good feeling about the bloom count, indeed the highest so far.
On our way back we made a stop at Bitter Creek, where we had seen baby nemacladus with different leaves, and yes we found a new one for us in the park.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 121

Pictures: Moonlight Canyon - Inner Pastures Loop



3/23
It's cool today, so time for our planned longer hike up the Yucca Valley.
Our feeling was on our way back, we are definitely past prime bloom and the bloom count isn't that good.
But after adding up all the plants we found in bloom, the bloom count was incredibly high.
One of the reason for a high bloom count, a long hike, following a creek. And one flower is enough to increase the bloom count.

The best highly visible plants in bloom on our hike, dandelion and pincushion.

On our way back out of Coyote Canyon the road was busy and very busy close to first crossing.
The flowering along Di Giorgio is still good, but is fading away.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 101+4

Pictures: Lower Willows Salvador Canyon Middle Willows



3/21
Time for Henderson canyon to check the bloom and to search for Roundleaf phacelia, Phacelia rotundifolia.
Our feeling was the canyon is obviously past peak bloom, but surprised to find such a good bloom count. A lot of the count came from isolated patches of plants, in places not exposed to the full force of the sun.
An excellent find was an albino Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii, this clearly is the year of albino plants, as the number of blooming plants is extremely high.
The find of the day was finding Roundleaf phacelia, Phacelia rotundifolia close to the suspected location, found by Mike a couple of years ago. What seems to be a tiny population of about 6 plants on a rock-face, in the shade most of the day.
The number or Desert threadplant, Nemacladus rubescens in bloom was very high on our trip.
And despite the crowds in town, in the canyon we only encountered 2 hikers on our 4 hour trip.
As empty as the Henderson canyon was, where the dirt road reaches the asphalt, the junction Henderson Canyon road and Borrego Springs road was one of the busiest places for flower watchers.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 97

Pictures: Henderson Canyon



3/20
We planned a hike up an unnamed canyon on the north side of the Fish Creek Mountain.
Postponed numerous times waiting for the right moment, this should be it, plenty of rain this year.
It appeared to be a short hike, but the wash was a rock and boulder wash, that is rather unusual.
The plants obviously liked the rocky terrain, the bloom count is great.
Plants in high numbers:
Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora - Broad leaf gilia, Aliciella latifolia latifolia
And after all the rocks an boulders, the dry fall at the end was magnificent.

Best of all two new finds for us, close to the park:
Winged cryptantha, Cryptantha holoptera
California ditaxis, Ditaxis serrata var. californica

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 84+2

Pictures: Fish Creek mountain north mile 3.5



3/18
We hiked the loop counter clockwise as we've done for some time.
WOW what a bloom, flower fields upon fields of:
Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata
Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii
Purplemat, Nama demissa demissa
While the first isn't unusual, the others are very unusual.

When we visited Rockhouse one month ago, at that time we had the impressing: This may be the best canyon in the park and it surely is right now, the bloom count is truly impressive.
Very surprised to see our bloom count missed one plant, Fountain grass, Pennisetum setaceum, they were recently removed from "Hidden Spring", YES.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 106+4

Pictures: Butler Canyon - Hidden Spring - Rockhouse Canyon



3/17
Pena spring is a good place away from the heat and the crowd.
This is bush walk up the canyon next to Pena Spring up to the California Riding and Hiking.
The incredibly high number of Wild cucumber, Marah macrocarpa in bloom and Few flowered clematis, Clematis pauciflora surprised us.
Flower fields of California goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis where absent this time.
One of our goals was to find baby Short flowered Long flowered Threadplant, Nemacladus longiflorus var. breviflorus and we did.
Another goal was to find Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens and we might have, but still to early to tell.
The third goal was to check on a large population what seems to be Borrego bedstraw, Galium angustifolium borregoense, but no flowers yet for the ultimate proof.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 69

Pictures: Pena Spring - California Loop



3/16
Our day off, so we did two car surveys.
First to blowsand canyon, with a surprising number of plants in bloom, in this otherwise barren area.
Next stop Hawk canyon, wow this is the fist time, we found a good flower show in this canyon.
The caterpillar are present in ever higher numbers.
While walking we have the strong impression that bloom peaked a couple of days ago in the low desert, plants are looking less fresh or are close to end of bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 67

Pictures: Blow Sand Canyon Loop
Pictures: Hawk Canyon Loop



3/15
It's still hot, but the badlands are a must go destination right now.
Entering an area that was long on our to visit list, in the hope to find something new.
It took us a while to figure out an access point and how to make a good loop.
Close to the start an unusual find an albino: Notch leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata ambigua.
One of the best finds of the season Alkali Phacelia, Phacelia neglecta in high numbers, we don't like the common name because the rocky mesa seems to be nothing alkali.
The display of flowers on our trip was unbelievably, we where in flower overflow, so many and so green.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 67

Pictures: Grave wash - North Palm wash loop



3/14
Tom Chester did an extensive survey of the desert floor, covering a wider area than on our hikes.
Data moved to 3/12 to fit the graph.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 72

More info: Tom Chester



3/14
It's warm again but we have to check out the flowers around Clark Dry lake.
One of our goals was to find Desert lupine, Lupinus shockleyi in bloom and map the plants along our route.
We shortened our route, but it still took us 4 1/2 hours to complete our trip.
The first part over the dry lake is rather barren, but with oasis of flowering plants.
Once in the sandy area the bloom count jumped and whole flower fields of Verbena, Primroses and Sunflowers appeared, unfortunately it's about 2 hours from any road.
The Sunflower fields where impressive, not as dense as along the Henderson Canyon Rd, but in huge numbers.
Another encounter with a reptile, a Flat-tail horned lizard, Phrynosoma mcallii, we almost stepped on one and it didn't move at all. Even when we came closer with the camera it didn't blink.
Warning: It's very hot out there, only for experienced desert hikers.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 59+1

Pictures: Clark Dry Lake loop



3/13
It's warm again and too busy in town.
A new hike that combines the Hornblende Canyon and Cool Canyon. The shuttle by bike.
An observation, the Hornblende Canyon had the best bloom by far, a lower elevation probably helps.
The Wishbone plant, Mirabilis laevis retrorsa was by far the best bloomer, it helps that the time moved in the right direction, most of the bloom was gone by 10 a.m.
An interesting find an albino Red gland spurge, Euphorbia melanadenia.
We made a side trip to Little Blair Valley to see the fields of Blair Valley pepper-grass, Lepidium flavum felipense in bloom, NICE never seen so many plants in good bloom, the smell was strong and a bit unpleasant. (Thanks Keir for mentioning it).

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 64+2
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 39

Pictures: Hornblende Canyon - Cool Canyon



3/11
It's warm again, so a higher elevation hike.
We've not visited Bittercreek this season, so this hike is long overdue.
This is just east of the mile 15 hike, but the terrain is very different, at least no fields of Erodium cicutarium but like in most other places too many London rocket, Sisymbrium irio.
The most visible bloomer right now: Wild canterbury bells, Phacelia minor.
Best blooming scrub: Cooper's desert thorn, Lycium cooperi.
Most striking germination: The Wide throated yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus brevipes in very high numbers.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 72 + 3
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 44

Pictures: Bitter creek loop



3/10
Tom Chester on his trip on the desert floor.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 71

More info: Tom Chester



3/10
It's warm, so time to seek out a higher elevation hike.
This is always a nice bush walk along the many springs. Springs always equals a higher bloom count than you would otherwise have on the same elevation.
Maybe a bit early to draw conclusions, but most of the many Malacothamnus San Diego undefined seem to have died off.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 50

Pictures: The springs in Culp Valley



3/9
After the fire, this area was one of the best wildflower spots. Now Red stem filaree, Erodium cicutarium has taking over and is by far the most dominant wildflower.
There are still a few places left where native wildflowers can grow.
Probably time to find another favorite place.
Lotebush, Ziziphus parryi parryi is by far the strongest smelling scrub.
We where surprised to find a lonely Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, including predator.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 47 + 9
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 27

Pictures: Mile 15 Pacific Crest Loop



3/7
A trip to a tiny dry lake between Collins valley and Box canyon, in our second try to find Lepidium flavum felipense.
It's very busy with all the tourist driving in Coyote canyon.
Water in second crossing is still rather deep, we noticed the large number of cars parked before second crossing, a lot didn't want to try the crossing.
Destination Box canyon and than climb up the rocky wall up to the playa.
What we noticed from above the playa was very very green, but not the good kind of green.
No trace of Lepidium flavum felipense and other plants that should grow besides it. That was very strange as on our previous hike we did find Sphaeralcea leaves, but now none to be found.
Down the very steep and rocky drainage and down Lower Willows. The signs of the recent rain are very clear, the gully that is the hiking trail gets deeper and deeper.
WOW what a high bloom count, we are getting closer to peak bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 85 + 3 along our way.

Pictures: Collins valley - Box Canyon Dry lake



3/6
A hike postponed so many times because it was to dry, now is the time to check out what grows in the "crater".
Right out of the car we found blooming plants left and right, wow.
A nice hike up to a small outcrop on Coyote mountain, by no means the actual peak.
Good flowering along the way, at the peak, down to what looks like a crater.
300 feet from the "crater" floor the smell was strong and on the floor overwhelming at times, like a perfume-shop, but less artificial.
Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii and Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata where causing the strong smell, that couldn't exit the enclosed "crater".
Down some boulders and back along the hill side. Than yes threadplants, Nemacladus in good number and while we where down on the ground more and more interesting stuff.

All in all a 3 hour hike turned 5 hours+ .

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 74 + 3 along our way.

Pictures: Coyote Mountain Loop



3/5
A hike to one of our favorite spots.
Starting on the "Yaqui Meadows Loop" and as the drainage narrows skipping over to the "Yaqui Meadows - Glorietta Wash" and finally completing the "Yaqui Meadows Loop". Trying to get the best of both hikes.
Staggering fields of Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii (10000+), Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora (500+) and Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii (1000+).
Never seen such large fields of monkey flower and Ghost flower before.
Most flower fields on the sun facing slopes and some on the flat rocky area's.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 53.

Pictures: Yaqui Meadows Loop
Pictures: Yaqui Meadows - Glorietta Wash



3/4
Time to find the special flowers in the direction of Little Clark dry lake, like Desert lupine, Lupinus shockleyi and Ives phacelia, Phacelia ivesiana.
Plenty of Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata, Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana, Yellow comet, Mentzelia affinis along our route.
We where glad to find Cleveland's tobacco, Nicotiana clevelandii in very high numbers (1000+).
On our way back probably the best find, a Lupinus shockleyi in bloom.
All in all an impressive bloom number for this area.
Not a flower but it was great to see a Flat-tail Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma mcallii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 54.

Pictures: Little Clark dry lake



3/2
After an estimate 3 Inch of rain, this season, in this otherwise dry canyon, it was time for a revisit.
This time in Botany speed, trying to find all the flowering plants on our way.
I had to check the natural tanks in the east fork of the canyon, as expected they where completely filled, with streaming water, 3 days after significant rain.
As we where late on our way back at 5 p.m., just in time to catch an almost open night bloomer, Long capsule suncup, Eremothera chamaenerioides.
Flower fields on the canyon walls of Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii and Arizona lupine, Lupinus arizonicus.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 63.

Pictures: Smoketree canyon
Pictures: Tom Chester



3/1
Keir Morse showed us a picture of the badlands in bloom, so up to the San Sebastian wash with a little detour.
Fonts point, Short wash, Mal pais to find the linanthus jonesii, we where very early to catch them in bloom, no luck, non of the hundreds was in bloom.

Fault wash where we found big flower field of Notch leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata ambigua.
Cut accross, Una Palma time for a short hike. Unfortunately the singe palm died in 2015.
The goal was to find Mojave cleomella, Cleomella obtusifolia and we found plenty of those along our trail and the big surprise some in bloom.
Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata are there in high numbers as everywhere else.
Desert sunflower, Geraea canescens, some in bloom, hundreds ready to go in the next weeks.
Finally a good picture of the Paulsen's Russian thistle, Salsola paulsenii flower.
Somehow it's tricky to get a good shot of a Desert pussypaws, Cistanthe ambigua, plants are exceptional plentiful, huge and a couple already in bloom.

Down the very wet Tule Wash, that was interesting driving a wash for the first time with no tire tracks and sinking a bit in the mud.
Tule wash was filled with Orcutt's woody aster, Xylorhiza orcuttii, so that begs for a hike.
Turning right on Pole line, HWY 78 west.
The goal of this long drive was to find Western Sea-purslane, Sesuvium verrucosum in bloom, YES only the one plant we found before, in good bloom.
What puzzled us was the bad bloom in the San Sebastian wash, bloom was much better last year. Later back to the linanthus jonesii and close to 5 p.m. we found one plant in bloom, added another blooming plant to our list.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 46.

Pictures: Fault wash loop
Pictures: 1-5-17 Palm trail
Pictures: San Sebastian Marsh West



2/28
A revisit of the canyon north of the Henderson canyon.
Like most of the park it's very green and not that many bad stuff growing.

Flower fields:
Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii
Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii
Arizona lupine, Lupinus arizonicus
Desert star, Monoptilon bellioides
Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa

After the rain one day ago the small fields of monkey flower look a bit battered.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 69, +2 along the road.

Pictures: North of Henderson canyon



2/26
Keir Morse on his badlands tour.
Bloom count moved to 2/27 in the graph. Note that 2/27 was a rainy day in the badlands.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 75.

Keir Morse



2/26
We started our route by exiting in the Texas dip, down the San Felipe wash.
On the bank flower fields of Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii and Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii.
Along the route germination was staggering, but no great display in flowers.
We've never had such a high plant and bloom count on this hike before, germination and plants about to bloom in very high numbers.
Asian mustard, Brassica tournefortii was of course present in high numbers.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 42 + 1 along our route

Pictures: Blow sand canyon loop



2/25
After so much rain the Ant Hill area begged to be explored.
One of the goals was to find more Lupinus shockleyi and we found then in 1000+ numbers.
Spoiling the are are Asian mustard, Brassica tournefortii in high numbers, but not covering the desert yet.
Dune evening primrose, Oenothera deltoides deltoides are blooming in good numbers already. The number of Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata in bloom is unbelievable and so many still in bud.
Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa var. villosa in good numbers adding some color to the white flowers.
More than enough flowers to pick up the sweet smell from afar.
The sandy area below Fonts point disappointed last year, but not right now, what a good display of flowers already.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 40 + 1 along our route

Pictures: Ant Hill loop



2/24
It was time to visit the southern part of the park, been too long since we visited Mortero Palms.
Now in a new loop that worked better than expected, in this huge boulder area.
While driving from Borrego Springs, bloom picked up visibly as we crossed the Carrizo creek.
Bloom isn't bad as the area is above 2000 feet.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 41 + 19 along our route

Pictures: Mortero Palms loop



2/22
Time to check out Coyote canyon and we never hiked the Ash wash this month.
We where surprised to see a good flow of water at zero crossing, this time they made a drainage, so the road was not longer muddy.
The first stretch has flower fields of smaller Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii and some Dune evening primrose, Oenothera deltoides deltoides.
Parking at second crossing, hiking up Ash wash and looping back along the ridge, along the route California fagonia, Fagonia laevis in high numbers.
Going down we noticed the very high number of Woody bottlewasher, Eremothera boothii condensata.

Further to third crossing, the amount of water in second crossing is interesting and deep.
Parking just before the summer gate and hiking along the water adding a couple of flowering plants.
There always seems to be one Hooker's evening primrose, Oenothera elata hirsutissima in bloom at third crossing.
Last stop Henderson canyon rd, a couple of Dune evening primrose, Oenothera deltoides deltoides and Desert sunflower, Geraea canescens, plants are doing great and they keep on growing, expect bloom soon.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 61 + 18 along our route.

Pictures: Ash wash loop



2/21
A hike from the Pinyon ridge down into Grapevine canyon. The terrain is rugged and parts still show only a slow recovery from the fire.
We visited the same area in 12/05/2016, 1/15/2017.
Nice to see so many flowers that are different from our previous visits.
The smell of of the flowers trying to get attention is strong. Lotebush tops the scale by far, to smell over 100 yards away.
Lotebush smell varies by the amount of plants, bloom, wind (observed 10 - 11 a.m.)
The below 3000 feet stretch is rather short and lacks a spring.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 20
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 47

Pictures: Pinyon spring California loop



2/20
A new loop in the Bisnaga (Alta) wash to check out a couple of washes we didn't visit before.
This is prime time for Fishhook, Mammillaria dioica.
We mapped all the Newberry's velvet mallow, Horsfordia newberryi on our route and found additional: Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 45.

Pictures: Bisnaga Alta wash loop



2/19
Tom Chester checked out Canyon north of Henderson Canyon.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 66.

Pictures: Canyon north of Henderson Canyon



2/17
Do the unexpected, Rockhouse canyon is normally one of the dryer places, but finding flower fields of Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii was a pleasant surprise.
The wash we call Cheesebush wash is filled with them and as they are starting to flower the cheese smell is noticeable.
Wow what a good number of flowers in this wash and many to follow. Desert five spot, Eremalche rotundifolia are abundant this season, we found many nearing bloom right here, but we expect them to pop up in a lot of places.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 56 + 5 along the road.

Pictures: Rockhouse trail - Cheesebush Canyon



2/16
Go where the flowers are, we've never been in this Carrizo canyon fork, when there was any bloom, so it was time to correct this.
Glad we did, again the Carrizo canyon is good, with many interesting flowers we've been missing for a long time.
And the Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii, generally only with one flower, are amazingly big for the desert.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 58.

Pictures: Carrizo West Fork Palms Second - Jacumba Jim Canyon



2/15
We noticed flowers posted from Glorietta canyon, so we changed our plans, go where the flowers are.
Within 10 minutes we found over 30 blooming plants, that's very good.
By far the biggest plants and best bloom is from where the road enters the wash up to the end of the road.
Further on along our route we added flowers gradually.
A good number of Rockcrosoma where in bloom, the lotebush smell was very strong and pleasant, finding the snapdragon in bloom made our day.
The canyon entrance is close to prime bloom but the surrounding area is still a couple of weeks behind.
Finally we got the best bloom of this season.
With the expected rain we should have prime bloom in the low desert between the end of February and the middle of March.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 57.

Pictures: Glorietta Canyon Loop 4



2/14
Reports of a blooming saltbush, we where dying to see, so east we went.
Our first goal was to explore the Tarantula wash, the name alone was enough for the visit.
Tarantula wash is a wide wash that drains into the San Felipe creek. Tamarisk are plentiful where the San Sebastian marsh starts.
Yes we found our Caleb saltbush, Atriplex canescens laciniata in bloom, we never expected to find one in bloom, but here they where.
Strangely enough the germination is still rather small but strong.
We encountered a number of baby plants with a clear ID.
We didn't find any lilies in bloom, but many in bud. But the Broom rape, Orobanche cooperi made our day, an ever better find.
A bit further a possible Wheelscale, Atriplex elegans var. elegans in bloom,(we need to go back to check the fruit) maybe better yet.

Next stop the Gas Domes, where someone reported a different saltbush in bloom, but unfortunately the ID turned out to be wrong.
Along the way we noticed many lilies and 2 in bloom.
The bloom average is now at it's highest point since November.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 23.

Pictures: Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop



2/12
The previous hike was 12/7 this season, so time to revisit the same area..
A hike in the wetter part of the Grapevine area, following a wash up to the PCT and looping back in another wash.
The fire damage in the area is still very visible.
Red stem filaree, Erodium cicutarium now turned into flower fields.
Germination of other plants is good, but still weeks from prime time. The area got a little bit of rain the day before.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 17.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 8.

Pictures: Mile 14.3 Pacific Crest Loop



2/11
A loop around Clark dry lake and it's sand dunes.
Germination is excellent, but still a couple of weeks from general bloom.
Finding a lot of interesting germination for a follow up.
Next trip was along Henderson Canyon rd, where germination is very good, but again it will take a couple of weeks.
We finally found a couple of lilies with buds, so bloom may start within a week or two, depending on the temperature. Next stop Coyote canyon zero crossing, with a little bit of running water once again, making a mud pool of the road.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 21.

Pictures: Clark dry lake



2/10
We try to do a hike we never done this time of year and it happened to one of our favorites.
It's early for this altitude, so our hope was to find something different, caught off guard to find a couple of very early annuals and a good bloom.
Finding a nice bunch of recognizable baby plant was a nice bonus.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 20.

Pictures: The Slab - Clup Valley Loop



02/8
One of our favorite hikes up Moonlight canyon up to Inner Pastures.
Germination is good, but still weeks from prime bloom.
One of the goals was to find baby Linanthus maculatus and surprisingly we most likely found them on the location of last seasons bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 29.

Pictures: Moonlight Canyon - Inner Pastures Loop
More info: Tom Chester


02/7
A hike we haven't done in 6 years, so it's time to revisit.
We found good germination and where able to add some germination to our known photo list. This is the first time we found germinating Xylorhiza orcuttii.

The number of Xylorhiza orcuttii was much higher than we remembered and we would have missed some if we where driving beyond our point park.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 16 + 2 along the Fish Creek wash.

Pictures: Fish Creek Wash North fork


2/5
A nice bunch of flowers in the Smuggler and Bisnaga Alta Wash.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 22

Pictures: Smuggler Canyon - Bisnaga Alta Wash



2/3
Indian head is a long hike, so not much time to photograph plants.
Germination is good, but still far from prime bloom.

Fountain grass, Pennisetum setaceum has spread all over the canyon floor. One of the best bloomer was Brassica tournefortii and alarmingly all the way up to the peak.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 14

Pictures: Indian head



2/2
Tom Chester revisited Chuckwalla and Lizard wash.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11. (data added to 2/4)

Pictures: Tom Chester: Chuckwalla wash



2/2
Culp valley is very green, but unfortunately 99+% of it is non native, like grass and Erodium.
A week ago there was snow in the area, so it's not a surprise to find a later bloom than last season.
Big Spring used to be a great place for wildflowers just after the fire, right now the plants have grown back, with little room for other flowering plants.

Interesting to see a higher bloom count above 3000 feet, this happened a couple of times in the park (this season).
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 15
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 17

Pictures: Culp Valley - Big Spring Loop



2/1
Carrizo canyon is the place to be right now.
After the reports of flowering monkeyflowers in Four Frogs canyon, we just had to go.
This loops enters Rockhouse canyon and follows a small fork up to Four Frogs canyon.
We are mapping Horsfordia this season and there where plenty of those in the smaller canyon.
Photographing leaves of most of the Horsfordia in an effort to ID them later. But first we must find them in bloom for the ultimate proof. We found a good number of Arizona carlowrightia, Carlowrightia arizonica just leafing out, with no fruit.
Next time mapping all the Carlowrightia arizonica in this canyon, will be the goal.

Only one monkeyflower in Rockhouse canyon, but plenty of them at the end of Four Frogs canyon.
Unfortunately so where Brassica tournefortii in high numbers, big and in bloom.
Still making an effort to remove them, this feels good, but is probably futile.
Again a good bloom count in the Carrizo canyon.

We found: Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 28.

Pictures: Rockhouse canyon - Four Frogs canyon loop



1/31
Another hike in a Palm wash fork.
Germination is good and rather large, so this area should see a good bloom in 2-4 weeks.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 6.

Pictures: Joshua canyon loop



1/29
Tom Chester visited Chuckwalla wash.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 7. (data added to 1/30)

Pictures: Tom Chester: Chuckwalla wash



1/29
Our guided hike for ABDNHA up Stone wash.
Germination is good but still a long way to go.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10 + 3 along the road

Pictures: Stone wash



1/28
This is the second time this season that we hiked this loop
The first part of the hike just before leaving Harper Flat, still looks as dry as ever, germination is very low.
Germination improves a lot when entering the canyon with the Harper Dams, so germination seems to be better at higher elevations.
We where surprised to find Ericameria teretifolia still somewhat in bloom.
Close to the saddle between Nolina and Pinyon forks, we found two surprise annuals, both all alone. A good looking Phacelia distans and a pathetic Salvia columbariae.
Germination isn't too bad on our way down.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5 + 2 along the road
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 11

Pictures: Pinyon Harper Nolina loop



01/26
Coyote canyon between Third and Zero crossing
A hike up a wash at Third crossing.
A second hike from First crossing up to Zero crossing.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 24.

Pictures: Third Crossing Wash Pictures: First to Zero Crossing


01/25
A hike in a fork of the Carrizo canyon.
Flowing water below our parking spot and we didn't believe it, it was still flowing but gone underground at that point.
What a nice green place, Emory's rockdaisy, Perityle emoryi all over, some in bloom, Brassica tournefortii too many, plenty of the 1 meter in diameter size, some in bloom.
Certainly a place to return this season.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 29.

Pictures: Carrizo Canyon south fork palm grove


01/24
A hike up a fork of Harper canyon, ending at a saddle with a man made animal drinking spot.
Over the last couple of years, this is a consistently very dry looking canyon. The Ironwood, Olneya tesota looks terribly, most are getting some leaves, likely the worst Ironwood we've seen in the park.
The same applies to most of the other perennials, many are hardly recognizable.
There are definitely signs of rain, so things may improve over time.
The bloom number is a low as it gets.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 3.

Pictures: Harper Canyon west fork


01/22
A hike we haven't done for 5 years, the reason it's a very long hike.
It turned out a very interesting hike, with a good variety and good bloom count.
Rain was expected today, this area seemed to stay dry and it was mostly sunny during our hike.

Germination is good in some places. Our guess, a lot of the previous germination has been washed away by recent rainfall.
Lilies are popping up in high numbers.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 18.

Pictures: Palm Spring - Arroyo Hueso Loop


01/21
A wash north of the Henderson canyon.
Good germination in an area that looked and was extremely dry a month ago.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 12.

Pictures: Tom Chester Wash north of the Henderson canyon


01/19
After 0.1 inch of rain and sun in the afternoon, the Borrego Badlands looked like a good place to hike.
Germination is excellent, the number of sunflower germination (with true leaves) is beyond belief.
Lilies are popping up literally everywhere in very high numbers.

Again we came across some puzzling Asclepias subulata that showed 3 leave markings on more than one stem. Other stems had the regular two. Finding bloom is off course was even better.
We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 7.

Pictures: Borrego Mountain Wash loop


1/18
A hike in the Grapevine is always interesting.
On the San Felipe side, the germination is good, but 99% of it is grass and Erodium cicutarium.
There is more native germination further away from the road.
A couple of Brassica tournefortii hot spots along our route, hundreds of plants of all sizes (no bloom yet here), we where able to remove the largest plants.
The native germination should be good, but it we expect it will take 4-6 weeks for a good bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 12

Pictures: Mile 13.6 Pacific crest loop



1/17
Even as it was in the fifties on our hike, it felt pleasantly warm.
Green it is, but 99% of it is grass and Erodium cicutarium.
More troublesome are the high number of Brassica tournefortii along the road, some huge plants and already in flower.
They infiltrate the canyon for a short while, not much sense to remove these as there are hundreds more along the road.

Desert apricot, Prunus fremontii, that we feared where going to die off, are recovering nicely from the drought, some are in bloom, many will surely follow.
What surprised us, but seen in other canyons, is the high number of young Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa. Must have grown from summer rain somewhere in September, amazing how fast they grow

Notice the pollen of the California juniper, Juniperus californica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 13
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 7

Pictures: Hornblende canyon



1/15
A hike from the Pinyon ridge down into Grapevine canyon. The terrain is rugged and parts still show only a slow recovery from the fire.
We visited the same area in 12/05/2016.
This time we started the hike from the Jasper trail, things tend to look bleak at the start of the hike in this area, so our estimate was a very low bloom count.
We where very pleased to find so many flowers at the "spring2", obvious a good source of water and the canyon blocks out the wind.
On our return route a surprise California coreopsis, Leptosyne californica in bloom and in good numbers (34).
The high bloom count above 3000 feet, is caused by the spring, providing plenty of water and the sheltered location.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 3
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 19

Pictures: Pinyon spring California loop



01/14
After finding a good bloom in Plum canyon, we had to check Lizard canyon.
Germination is present, but not that strong and mostly small. Germination and bloom mostly consists of Red stem filaree, Erodium cicutarium

What made our day was a great new find: Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 12.

Pictures: Lizard Wash Chuckwalla Wash Loop


01/11
We hiked Rainbow canyon, so the idea to revisit Rainbow wash was obvious.
At the start things looked as if we would get zero bloom.
Things improved as we got closer to Fonts point.
Germination is present, still very small, most abundant is Asian mustard, Brassica tournefortii, this was a hotspot in 2015-2016 and probably will be this season.
This is a badlands area, so bloom is always rather low.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 8.

Pictures: Rainbow wash loop


01/10
Germination is strong, with a lot of huge annuals.
The area obviously got a lot of rain earlier last year, germinating plants are at least twice as big compared to Rainbow canyon.
Here we might get a significant bloom, by the end of the month.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 33.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 2.

Pictures: Plum canyon loop


01/08
The extremely dry looking Domelands area improved a bit from our visit a month ago. Plants are leafing out and appear noticeably fresher.
Most of the better looking plants, where found in the more narrow shadow rich part of the hike, the canyon and drainages.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 12.

Pictures: Domelands


01/07
Germination is good and looks very promising for the months to come.
The route took us from "Park 3" to the entrance of Blair valley, west of "Park 2 shuttle".

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 25.

Pictures: Rainbow canyon



01/05
Dry looking at first, but on parts of the loop the plants look noticeable better.
Bloom is not abundant, but the numbers are pretty good. Germination is still very small, except for some isolated patches.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 16.

Pictures: Sweeney Jojoba Wash Sin Nombre loop


01/04
Very dry looking, but obvious wet after the recent rain.
Germination is good. The first Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata leave popping up.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 6.

Pictures: Joshua Canyon


01/03
Tom Chester Glorietta Canyon/Juanito Canyon loop.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 25.

More info: Glorietta Canyon


01/02
Germination is good, but almost invisible, will take a couple of weeks to produce any kind of flowering.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 6.

Pictures: Yaqui Meadows Loop


01/01
The main goal on this hike was to find more Thurber's pilostyles, Pilostyles thurberi.
And above all this is a nice scenic hike.
You can definitely see the effects of rain in this very dry looking area. Scrubs are starting to add nice green leaves.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 13.

Pictures: West of June Wash Loop


12/31
The same badlands loop we did last year on the last day of December.
The flowers from last year where mostly found on one spot. The only thing left on that spot right now where the skeletons and germination.
We noticed good germination around the skeletons all over the area.
The ID of the germination is easier, with the limited number of flowering plants in the area.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

Pictures: Fonts Point wash loop


12/29
A loop starting at the Camel Head wash, up to East mesa.
The number of plants in bloom was high as a lot of Isocoma acradenia where in bloom. Skeletons of flat topped buckwheat, Eriogonum deflexum deflexum where in the thousands on the mesa, we even found a bird's nests made of it.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 7. (+3 along the road = 10)

Pictures: Camel Head wash east loop


12/28
We explored a couple of washes close to the start of the hike mentioned below. So we hiked only a small portion of that route.
The goal was to find Thurber's pilostyles, Pilostyles thurberi in bloom, but we where too late or too early.
71 plants with Pilostyles thurberi, 78 host plants not infected.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 9.

Pictures: Gert Wash Loop.



12/27
A hike up to marker Perpendicular Bluff, continuing along Yaqui Ridge.
As expected the area is extremely dry and no sign of the recent rain, except when you go deeper into the soil.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 6.

Pictures: Perpendicular Bluff Yaqui Ridge.



12/27
Tom Chester on a hike around Clark Dry lake (Date changed to 12/26).

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5.

More info: Tom Chester.



12/25
A loop in Third wash. This is prime badlands so the bloom numbers should be very low.
3 days after rain, 1/4 or our trip was in a very muddy wash, not the best place to be.

Our first good looking plants was Rush milkweed, Asclepias subulata, this one was trying to trick us with it's whorl of 3 leaves and alternating leaves. The older stems clearly showed the marks of 2 leaves.
We did see this plant in bloom last year so we knew what it was.

On the saddle, heading for Third wash, our bloom count was still 0, with one Xylorhiza orcuttii very close to bloom.
Third wash is a wider wash and more alive in some stretches.

We spend some time checking how far the rain penetrated the soil: Water penetration measurements.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5.

Pictures: Third Wash Loop.



12/24
A hike from Inspiration point to below Fonts point.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.

Pictures: Inspiration Point Wash loop.



12/23
A hike in Inspiration point wash.
Interesting to hike in a wash after more than an inch of rain, an otherwise solid wash sometimes feels different. Our goal was to find more 'infected' Emory's indigo bush, Psorothamnus emoryi we found one 'infected' on our route and many along the road, but non of the Thurber's pilostyles, Pilostyles thurberi were in bloom yet.
At least that is our hope that will start blooming in a couple of weeks, there is some evidence on a couple of plants, but not conclusive.
Spanish needles, Palafoxia arida arida where again the happiest looking plants, most in good bloom.

We found: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

Pictures: Inspiration Point Wash loop.



12/21
A hike east of the June wash.
The June wash is bone dry, but the smaller washes to the east were surprisingly alive.
First time in about 5 years that we hiked in the badlands with real rain and use our rain coat.
We could actual recognize the plants by smell, the Smoketree, the sweet alkali goldenbush and rabbitbrush, Cheesebush all with a very distinct smell from meters away.
Spanish needles, Palafoxia arida arida where the happiest looking plants, most in good bloom.

One of the goals was to map the rest of the : Xylorhiza orcuttii in the area.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

Pictures: June - Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado Loop.



12/20
A hike up to Gert wash.
A new slightly shorter route takes us into parts or Gert wash we didn't visit before.

One of the goals was to map the rest of the : Xylorhiza orcuttii in the area.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

Pictures: Gert wash loop.



12/18
A hike up to the No return canyon narrows and back to the Elephant tree trail head.
Pretty dry as expected no sign of the rain 2 days ago.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5.

Pictures: No Return canyon.



12/17
A hike up an unnamed canyon from the Horse camp road.
Hardly any sign of the rain a day before.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 8.

Pictures: Horse camp canyon.



12/15
A loop in the Mine wash. One of the goals was to check on the Carlowrightia arizonica.
We counted 28 Carlowrightia arizonica.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 1.

Pictures: Mine wash loop.



12/14
A perfect day for a higher altitude hike, temperature close to 70, no wind.
One of the goals was to get a better look and count of the Malacothamnus that live close to the Chariot mountain peak.
Our estimate along the route we took > 1000 plants, that seem to have grown since our last visit a year ago.
About 5 of the Malacothamnus plants in full bloom, many about to.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 8.

Pictures: Chariot mountain PCT loop.



12/13
Deep into Fish creek into Coral wash.
Dry as expected, as bonus a nice slot canyon.
A good bloom number, that's why we like the Fish creek area this time of year.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 17.

Pictures: Coral wash.



12/12
Tom Chester reports from the Calcite mine slot area:
No germination and nearly all the plants look stressed.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

More info: Tom Chester page of the area.



12/11
The good thing about this area, you start thinking dry and it only gets better.
We where hoping to find Xylorhiza orcuttii and yes all of a sudden there they where and in good numbers too.
More info: Xylorhiza orcuttii.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 12.

Pictures: View of badlands wash loop



12/10
Hellhole canyon is normally a dry looking canyon this time of year, no exceptions now.
No water flowing at the Maidenhair falls.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11.

Pictures: Hellhole Canyon



12/9
An adventurous hike in the Andrade canyon area, this may just well be one of the driest places in or around the Anza-Borrego Desert.
The mountain range is rocky so that may explain the fact that the canyons itself appear a bit less dry.
Part of the hike is prime badland, hardly any plant life there, but in some washes close to a drop where water is more abundant, there is more alive, even a couple in bloom.
The Andrade canyon is entirely different, a narrow rocky canyon with some sand, where most of the better looking plants of the area are present.
Always a surprise to find better bloom than expected.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 15.

Pictures: Andrade canyon loop



12/7
A hike in the wetter part of the Grapevine area, following a wash up to the PCT and looping back in another wash.
The fire damage in the area is still very visible.
Frequent ant dumps of Red stem filaree, Erodium cicutarium in the lower part of the hike, mostly out of the washes.
The most dominant germination Red stem filaree, Erodium cicutarium besides grasses.
Still plenty of germination of the annuals in the washes.
One of our goals was to find what's left of the many Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens we found last year. And we did find a couple of skeletons and seeds to photograph.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 8.

Pictures: Mile 14.3 Pacific Crest Loop



12/6
A hike in Fishcreek along the Windcaves up to the Gypsum peak.
One of the goals was to check how many Narrow leaf Sandpaper Plant, Petalonyx linearis where still alive.
We where pleased to find 2 alive and still blooming, but struggling.
Unfortunately we found 3-4 plants that where obvious dead, still attached to the ground, we are confident about the ID of the dead plants that where alive in 2015.
All dead plants where on the sun facing slope, the other plants (alive) seem to be in a slightly better spot.
In a new location, facing away from the sun, one possible alive (looking less dead).
The dominant plant higher up and sometimes the only species present, Pigmy cedar.
Biggest surprises, one Smoketree in good bloom and one Pigmy cedar with a couple of nice flowers. A young Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis arcuata, that didn't know when to bloom.
Bloom is very low, in many cases we only found a single plant in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 26 (23 on the loop) 3 very close by.

Pictures: Wind Caves - Gypsum Peak



12/5
A hike from the Pinyon ridge down into Grapevine canyon. The terrain is rugged and parts still show only a slow recovery for the fire.
We've never seen water in or close to the Pinyon spring, but the trees are evidence of water.
On our way up an unnamed spring that seems to be a reliable source of water.
The high number of interesting skeleton plants along the route certainly warrants a return later in the season.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 5
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 15

Pictures: Pinyon spring California loop



12/4
A survey by Tom Chester in the Henderson Canyon.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 15

More info: Henderson Canyon



12/2
This is one of our must do hikes.
We expected a lower bloom count as a lot of plants are way past their peak bloom.

Tarantulas are rare on our hikes and I don't know who was more afraid, probably the spider.
It's amazing to see plants that appear near death, starting to bloom, the many Blackbanded rabbitbrush, Ericameria paniculata in good bloom, are an amazing sight.
Of the many plants, one plant looked different, yes, we found our second location of Scale broom;California broomsage, Lepidospartum squamatum (probably 2 plants).

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 19

Pictures: Box Canyon Lower Willows loop



12/1
A great day for the Fish Creek area. The Jigsaw canyon and the upper part of the No Return Canyon where high on our list.
The drive in is always an adventure, but we made it without any problems.
Dry of course, that said we found the happiest green Arrow leaf, Pleurocoronis pluriseta, we've ever seen, so blinding green. Might have been a younger plant.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 11

Pictures: Jigsaw Wash loop



11/30
It was close to freezing, probably below on our hike, but the sun is strong enough to keep you warm.
Still we found many interesting plants and skeletons to check out some other time.

The California hiking trail was not interesting (0 bloom )so we went into the canyon again and indeed this is more like it.
We may have found our largest number > > 10 Borrego bedstraw, Galium angustifolium borregoense, so a nice spot to return, for pictures and to take measurements of the plants.
Probably adding another fern to our list.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 14

Pictures: Pena Spring - California Loop



11/28
This is one of the best hikes in the park, joined by Tom Chester and a group of botanist.
For one of the driest places in the park, the number of plants in bloom and germination this time of the year is very good.
Having a couple of good botanist along helped a lot, getting such a good bloom count. It added at least 10 we would have missed.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 29

Pictures: Sin Nombre slot loop
Tom Chester plant list



11/27
This is the perfect spot for a rainy day like today, but not the best place to live when you are a plant.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 9

Pictures: Blowsand canyon



11/25
This time a hike in the lower part of Smuggler canyon.
Amazingly one Brown eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii with a couple of flowers.
50 % of the Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens splendens are in bloom, many in full bloom.
Another consistent bloomer Chuparosa, Justicia californica.
Reasonable spot germination up the Main Smuggler wash, mainly Chylismia claviformis peirsonii and Erodium cicutarium.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 15

Pictures: Smuggler canyon loop



11/24
We botanized the area up to Smuggler canyon and the hills to the north east.
The area is extremely dry, California trixis, Trixis californica californica was blooming very consistently, mostly with only a few flowers.
Some Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens splendens in full bloom and Chuparosa, Justicia californica in the narrow passage just before the smuggler drop.
We where surprised to see one small Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii about to bloom, in the extremely dry wash.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 18

Pictures: Smugler canyon area



11/22
While hiking the loop on 11/20, I noticed the wonderful canyon to the east, so I had to go back.
We planed a zigzag route to cover a couple of new washes, the rugged Cairn wash and the more sandy Pirate wash.
Hitting the jackpot choosing just the right fork and encountered a number of plants that where high on our to find list.
What a difference a wash makes in this area, from dry to barren to excellent for the time of year.
The rest of the route while impressive, added only a few more flowers to the list.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 26 + 5 in the fish creek wash.

Pictures: Cairn wash - pirate wash loop



11/21
Much drier than last season and drier than close to the main Glorietta wash.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10

Pictures: Yagui meadows loop



11/20
A loop up to the Gypsum peak going up in the windcaves wash.
The plants looked much better than expected, finding Smoketree, Psorothamnus spinosus in bloom was a good indicator.
There are a couple of nice canyons we could see on this hike, begging to be visited by someone.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 20

Pictures: Wind Cave wash - Gypsum Peak - loop



11/19
This loop was high on our wish list, to explore a couple of canyons we've never visited before.
Dry dry, not much rain right here.
We hoped to find a couple of Ericameria teretifolia, but not like this, 140 plants, many of them huge.

Main population on the south facing slopes, in full sunlight most of the day.
The smaller more isolated 'fringe' plants at lower altitudes only in the narrow canyons, with a lot of shade.

Distinguishing E. teretifolia and E brachylepis on color alone is very tricky.
We did a 100% check of the plants, as all the plants where happy with flowers and we could clearly see the glands sometimes from 1 meter distance.
This must have been spectacular to see them bloom at the right time, we probably missed prime bloom by a couple of weeks.

In the main population we found only E. teretifolia.
But in lower elevations they where mixed with a couple of E brachylepis. Even at this point we guessed a couple of them wrong on appearances alone, so that stays very tricky, you need relatively fresh flowers for a clear id.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 9
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 17

Pictures: Pinyon Harper Nolina loop



11/17
Coyote canyon from First Crossing including parts of Lower willows.
One of the goals was to photograph the only know location of a single Malacothamnus fasciculatus in the park. Bill told us it was in bloom, so this was the time to go.

While driving into Coyote canyon, you don't expect to find many plants alive, let alone in bloom, but this area always surprises us.
Of course there is a creek and running water up to halfway First and Second crossing.
We where finding flowers, one after another, in amazing high number, we told each other no one is going to believe the number of plants in bloom.
Just out of the car at Second crossing, a new find for us, Prickly lettuce, Lactuca serriola, not a native.
Amazingly the flowers where all closed at noon at 70 degrees, they shouldn't do this, but we found several flowers all gone.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 39

Pictures: First-Second-Third Crossing
Pictures: Lower Willows


11/16
It's been almost 6 years ago when we hiked this loop, so time for a revisit and update the web pages.
The Glorietta canyon is a happy place for plants right now. There are obvious signs of recent flowing water.
Plants look very happy, Ocotillo mostly green and blooming.
Most of the blooming plants are close to the wash, so climbing up the boulders isn't necessary to find plants in bloom.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 22

Pictures: Glorietta Canyon Loop


11/15
This is a real badland hike, the terrain is as bad as it gets.
The goal of the hike was to count more Xylorhiza orcuttii

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 3

Pictures: Arroyo Salado loop2


11/13
The terrain is divers, with numerous springs and plenty of room and food from the fire a couple of years back.
Still, we where surprised to find so many flowering plants along our route.

A few Sapphire woolly star, Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum still in bloom, but the slightest touch will drop the flower.
This is the place where Malacothamnus are happy, in very high numbers and starting to bloom.
Bigger and more Mono groundsel, Senecio flaccidus monoensis that we've ever seen in the park. A couple of days back we went on a long hike, one of our goals was California brickellbush, Brickellia californica, here they where blooming, so much better and easier to reach.
Last season wasn't the year for dodders, so a good blooming Canyon dodder, Cuscuta subinclusa was a great find.
California aster, Corethrogyne filaginifolia are still pretty, but very close to end of bloom.
Easy to miss Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus in bloom, it's not spectacular unless you look closely.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 35

Pictures: Culp Valley Springs to Jasper Trail loop


11/12
Time to check out upper Culp valley north of Chimney rock.
This should be interesting right now.
Not looking good from the start, only one species in bloom, but the numbers picked up once we went beyond Chimney rock.
Even though it feels dryer than last year, the number of Amaranth is much much higher.
Last year we found only a handful of Amaranthus torreyi, this time we found 99+, easily.

While taking a picture, Fred suddenly noticed a spurge in the viewfinder, hard to find it back, as the plant was less than a cm wide.
It turned out a once in a month event, a plant of our most wanted list (Thyme-leafed spurge, Euphorbia serpyllifolia ssp. serpyllifolia), we where lucky to find a couple of plants this small.
This is a tough hike, after 3 hours another steep climb is rather tiresome, so be warned. That said it's a great scenic interesting hike.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 19

Pictures: Thimble loop


11/10
On of our goals was to find Gutierrezia californica in the Nolina canyon and to explore forks we haven't visited yet.
But we didn't get any definitive numbers, the plants in the visited fork did have a longer mean involucre length, but just beyond the range of Gutierrezia sarothrae, but with 4.5-5 mm not clearly in the Gutierrezia californica range as well.

The canyon is bone dry, Carla mentioned it dryer than other locations, but this isn't what the bloom number suggest.
This in one of the lowest locations of Parry's nolina, Nolina parryi in the park.

Visiting the huge dry fall was interesting, a shadow rich area, most likely getting more water and the only location we found Climbing milkweed, Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii in bloom.

The narrow rocky washes seem to be the place for Green rabbitbrush, Ericameria teretifolia.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 25

Pictures: Nolina canyon


11/9
The Grapevine area is dry as expected, on the other hand most of the willows are fully leaved out.
Still we found more flowering plants than you would expect in this dry area.

The dominant flowering plant buckwheat.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 15
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 12
Pictures: Grapevine Loop 2



11/8
Time to check out the PCT at Warner Springs.
This time with a bike shuttle so we could hike the part we missed last year.
Flower wise, the first hour of the hike is where the action was, the rest of the way, nothing was blooming except for the Matchweed.

Surprise a Giant four o'clock, Mirabilis multiflora pubescens in bloom.
Finally we found our first Big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata tridentata in bloom.

The dominant flowering plant by far again Matchweed, Gutierrezia sarothrae.
Giant Woolstar, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. elongatum with a few plants in bloom, enough for our first flower picture.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 17
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 16

Pictures: PCT Warner Springs north B3a


11/5
The temps are still in the high 80's.
Our goal was to visit Agua Caliente and find Catchfly prairie-gentian, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. exaltatum in bloom, we found 6.
What a difference from last year where a thunderstorm hit the area, so less bloom, but still very nice.

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 30.

Pictures: Marsh Canyon Loop


11/4
We needed something cooler, so this is as cool as it gets in the park, I was even afraid to hit 32 degrees, but the sun is so strong.

Drier than expected at the start of the hike, but pleased to see California fuchsia, Epilobium canum latifolium in good numbers.
A couple of California aster, Corethrogyne filaginifolia, still with a few flower.

The most dominant bloomer by far, Matchweed, Gutierrezia sarothrae.

Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 13

Pictures: Fages monument - CRHT - PCT - Loop


11/3
The goal was to find Scale broom;California broomsage, Lepidospartum squamatum, that should be in bloom right now and we found several of them in good bloom.
This is the only location known to us in the park.

Hiking into Rockhouse canyon up to hidden spring, it's clearly the time for Blackbanded rabbitbrush, Ericameria paniculata.
Surprisingly, many Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens splendens are green and in good bloom.

One of the few annuals in bloom, growing with a few drops of water, Chinch weed, Pectis papposa papposa

Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 20

Pictures: Butler Canyon - Hidden Spring - Rockhouse Canyon