After wildflower superblooms drew crowds to California in recent years, people have been wondering if this year will yield similar crops of vibrant, pretty flowers.
The good news is that it looks like the conditions might align this year to cover parts of the state in a coat of beautiful wildflowers - one that exceeds normal levels of spring blooms. Known as superblooms, these bursts of flowers typically occur in desert landscapes. Ample levels of rain are required during the winter months to enable the plants to blossom in the quantities that constitute a superbloom.
The rain has to be followed by a spell of cold weather, which locks moisture into the ground. As it stands, the predicted weather in California indicates that conditions for another superbloom this year are favourable. If everyone's hopes are realised, some of the flowers visitors can expect to see in abundance include desert lilies, sand verbena, California poppies, arroyo lupines, Canterbury bells and rancher’s fiddleneck.
In the past few years, visitors were entranced by massive displays of flowers in areas like the Anza-Borrego Desert and Carrizo Plain National Monument, Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park. The hills around Lake Elsinore were covered in a super bloom of bright orange poppies, and a seasonal wildflower trail encircling the lake opened to the public at Diamond Valley Lake. Blooms also spread across the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Los Angeles.
Another bonus is that superblooms also attract swarms of butterflies. For updates on the wildflowers, please visit the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association Facebook page or DesertUSA, or call the Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline, which outlines the best locations for viewing spring wildflowers in southern and central California.