A wildflower superbloom is underway in the desert Southwest in March after seven inches of winter rain. Anza-Borrego State Park in California hasn’t experienced a bloom so prolific since at least 1999 according to park officials.

“This is shaping up to be a great wildflower year!” the park wrote on its Facebook page late last week. “…desert lilies are spectacular, and other annuals are coming along nicely! Make plans now to visit near the middle of the month.”

This is why the Anza-Borrego State Park in San Diego County will have its largest flower bloom in years. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

The purple sand verbena is widespread in the Anzo-Borrega right now. It’s native to the Southwest and it thrives in well-drained soil. Pristine white primroses are also in bloom among yellow-flowered brittlebush. But, according to hikers’ reports, the most uncommon flower in bloom this year is the purple, notch-leaved phacelia.

It’s “a very rare event,” one hiker noted on the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association website:

With over 7 inches of rain this season, the Borrego Desert is verdant green with flowers in stages of both bud and early bloom. We are on the “uphill side” of the peak bloom and experiencing more open flowers with each passing sunny day. We note a few locations where open flowers can be seen, especially for those willing to wander among the mix of buds and blooms. A top location is anywhere within a two-mile stretch of the Coyote Canyon Jeep Road, north of the north end of DiGiorgio Road with abundant Peirson’s Primoses and others, including a few remarkable Desert Lilies.
Another worth a look is the Henderson Canyon Road with patches of pink Sand Verbena, Dune Evening Primroses with their wide white petals, yellow Desert Sunflowers beginning to bloom, and a few Desert Lilies. Around Borrego Springs, roadsides are lined with yellow Desert Dandelions and other wildflowers. These flowers are best seen in the morning, as some blossoms close in the afternoon.

If you want to see the superbloom in-person, the park says the best time to view the flowers is in the morning. They close up in the afternoon heat.

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ABDSP Wildflower Report Well as I said with just a little heat - actually it hasn't been hot out but the sun is warming - the bloom would really kick in and it has. It's not "Super Bloom" status yet but well on the way and this weekend may be prime. Just remember that different things bloom At different times so that extends the bloom. Henderson Canyon Road was starting to come on with more and more Desert Sunflowers opening up. Not yet Peak as pf yesterday but as you travel up towards the east end of the road the Sand Verbena and Dune Evening Primrose are full on as you can see in the first shot Heading over to Coyote Canyon the first section by the Citrus groves still need a couple days but as you head down just as the mountain comes down to the road where it holds more heat it's really looking fantastic with ton of gold poppies, and Desert Chicory. The flowers extend all the way up the hillside which is quite unusual. Arizona lupine are coming on but have a ways to go yet. And the ocotillo and cactus won't bloom till later. So when should you go? Go now, it will improve every day and if you can go days besides the weekend you will avoid some of the crowds. There are plenty of other spaces to explore too and I hope to hit some of the lesser known tomorrow morning. #anzaborregodesertstatepark #anzaborrego #2017wildflowers #wildflowers #wildflowers2017 #desertwildflowers #desertliving🌵 #borregosprings

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🌵Desert 🌸Bloom🌵

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A beaver cactus flower from today's hike

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