What has been fondly dubbed the ‘super bloom’ is now underway in Anza-Borrego State Park in California.
This year marks what could be the largest occurrence of said ‘super bloom’ since 1997-98, two banner years for wildflowers, and many in the Borrego Springs community are ready and waiting to see what this year’s bloom brings.
Anza-Borrego State Park is California’s largest state park at 630,000 acres and offers visitors 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails. The park is located about two hours from San Diego.
Anza-Borrego experiences the bloom of its impressive variety of desert flowers annually, but due to the nearly six inches of winter rain the park received, it is estimated that this year’s bloom will be one for the record books.
Currently, mid-March looks to be the time when the park will be in full bloom; the blooms will likely last for several weeks as the different areas come into full bloom. More than 50 species of flowers are now blooming, and Ernie Cowan, president of the Anza-Borrego Foundation, told LAist that purple sand verbena flowers, yellow brittlebrush, California lupins and white desert lilies are all expected to bloom within the next few weeks.
“Because of the water this year, the unprecedented amounts of rain, there is an incredible amount of bloom,” Cowan said.
The sand verbenas are expected to be the main attraction of the bloom due to their vibrant purple coloring.
For those heading out to see the ‘super bloom’ in person, park officials say that the blooms can be unpredictable, so don’t be discouraged or frustrated if the flowers don’t deliver as promised. Strong winds and caterpillars are also just a couple of the natural forces taking their toll on these wildflowers, park officials say.
“This is probably the first big bloom in at least 12 years and maybe more like 20 years,” Sally Theriault, state park interpreter with the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’ll go out on a limb and say it’ll last probably a week or two, but those caterpillars are a force of nature to be reckoned with for sure.”