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Where to See Desert Wildflowers Right Now

Where to See Desert Wildflowers Right Now

Lupine, verbena, poppies, and more are starting to bloom across Southern California
Posted 5 years agoby Katrina Hunt

In a first glimpse of spring, the California desert is starting to pop with wildflowers and the upcoming season promises to be a big one.

Just like the Golden State’s explosion of color two years ago, 2019 is shaping up to a be a superbloom that will be at least as amazing as 2017 and maybe more so at many locations, says California nature guide author Ann Marie Brown. What makes a bloom “super”?  “It happens when all the weather conditions are just right, and that means substantial rainfall in late fall and early winter, cool daytime temperatures, and cold nights,“ she says, adding that such blooms tend to happen once a decade. California has now had two in the past three years.

Here are the areas where you can head right now, and throughout March and beyond, for colour:

Greater Palm Springs

Go to the Coachella Valley right now and you’ll see purple sand verbena, yellow brittlebush, and brown-eyed primrose. “They’re bursting out alongside the freeways and in every vacant lot, ” Brown says. Head to Thousand Palms’ Coachella Valley Preserve and Mecca’s Box Canyon Road, which both have lupine and desert sunflowers. Another contender is Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons, currently closed due to flooding in February. But once it reopens (keep tabs on it here), expect colour through April.