What A Wildflower Season!
Last updated 5/31/2023 at 10:23am
This season's unexpected wildflower bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was a spectacular treat for new and returning visitors to the Park! And what a show it was for about four months – one of the longest wildflower seasons in recent history.
Many species of flowers, including Dune Evening Primrose, Desert Lily, Brittlebush, Heliotrope, Ghost Flowers, Desert Five Spot, Chuparosa, Parish's Goldpoppy, Emory's Rockdaisy, Bigelow's Monkeyflower, Barrel Cactus, Beavertail Cactus and Desert Dandelions made their appearance. But the real showstoppers were the fields of purple Sand Verbena that blanketed Henderson Canyon and June Wash for most of the season.
With the bloom came increased visitation – over a 200% increase in cars parked just at the Park Visitor Center alone! The increased visitation placed a strain on the already short-staffed and underfunded Park. As the Park's partner, we were able to provide the following support:
- Wildflower information tables at our retail location in the mall as an additional resource to alleviate the traffic at the packed Visitor Center.
- We funded and installed wildflower information signs to help with the flow of traffic coming down Montezuma Grade.
- Printed and distributed thousands of free wildflower maps for visitors.
- Coordinated a community meeting to inform local businesses of the Park's wildflower plan.
- Sent weekly official Park wildflower bloom updates via email to local businesses.
- We collaborated and provided extra community port-a-potties during the height of the wildflower bloom.
- Provided weekly bloom public updates that included wildflower maps, wildflower conservation tips, wildflower locations and safety information to help protect the wildflowers and allowed visitors to enjoy their visit.
The end of a wildflower season is always bittersweet, but we look forward to next year and the surprises the desert brings. We never know when a wildflower bloom will happen, and we can support the Park through the busyness of a wildflower bloom because of our donors and members. Many thanks to our donors and members who give year after year; your support allows us to respond to the Park's many needs.