Flower Update - What's Blooming in Borrego


Last updated 3/13/2017 at 6:55pm

As expected, plentiful rains in December, January AND February have encouraged the development of a spectacular showing of annual plants in the flower fields north of town, along trails in western canyons, and even in the badlands. Roadsides in town are a great place to see fields of Desert Dandelions.

Desert lily plants are continuing to bloom in many locations, including the badlands. The dirt road to Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp is a good place to look for lilies (beyond the camp area, 4WD is recommended). Notch-leaved phacelia is another treasure to be found in the badlands this year, but only if you are driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Every day, we are seeing more and more Desert Sunflowers start blooming in the “Flower

Fields” along Henderson Canyon Road. Look for Sand Verbena, Lupine and Dune Evening Primrose here, also. A variety of lowers can also be found at the western end of the road, near the collection of large metal statues.

Spectacle-pod has been blooming in fragrant profusion at the north end of Di Giorgio

Road, and is being joined by masses of pink Sand Verbena and exceptional specimens of Dune Evening Primrose and Desert Lily. The Coyote Canyon Road has been graded again, making it passable to two-wheel-drive vehicles as far as Desert Gardens (caution: shoulders are sandy, leaving just a few areas safe for passing and turning around). Bright yellow Parish’s poppies covering the hillsides are delightful! Drivers who don’t want to drive the dirt road should park at the end of the pavement and venture out onto the flats, for desert lilies in bloom, dune evening primrose, lupine, desert chicory, and patches of sand verbena, as well as an increasing number of desert sunflowers.

Poppies, phacelia, cryptantha, chuparosa and brittlebush have been blooming at the Visitor Center, where desert dandelions and other annuals make an impressive showing.

Borrego Palm Canyon is beautiful right now, with Canterbury Bells, Poppies,

Monkeyflower, and Phacelia blooming against lots of bright green foliage! Brittlebushes are loaded with buds, and should be bursting with bright yellow flowers any day. Look closely for delicate Whispering Bells and diminutive Little Gold Poppy. Hellhole Canyon should have similar flowers, and while it is a longer hike, could be an option when the parking lot for Borrego Palm Canyon is full.

Visitors to the southern end of the park would do well to spend some time at the Carrizo Badlands Overlook, where lupine, spectacle-pod, and brown-eyed evening primrose can be found near the parking area, and desert lilies bloom on the hillside. Residents of the Canebrake area report that roadsides in the south should becoming into bloom soon.

It’s hard to predict a peak, but rapid development of blooms points to the middle of the month as an excellent time to visit. A heat wave through Tuesday, March 14 means visitors should come prepared with lots of water and sun protection!

For updates, join Anza-Borrego Foundation’s email list at http://www.theabf.org or call the State Park Wildflower Hotline, 760-767-4684.

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