Super Bloom Will Not Arrive But California’s Wildflowers Are On Their Way

While drought conditions won’t allow a super bloom, you can still enjoy the state’s wildflowers this season.

In coming weeks, wildflowers will bloom in colorful profusion, carpeting the state’s undulating hills and grassy valleys, especially in Southern California where the desert landscape and climate is especially suited to floral growth.


The Super Bloom will not be around this year but wildflowers are blooming all across California in droves. Photo via SF Chronicle.The Super Bloom will not be around this year but wildflowers are blooming all across California in droves. Photo via SF Chronicle.

The Super Bloom will not be around this year but wildflowers are blooming all across California in droves. Photo via SF Chronicle.

“The southern California deserts are having the finest spring bloom since the ‘once in a lifetime’ bloom of 2005,” said Richard Minnich, a professor of geography in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of California, Irvine. “In this world of invasive grasses and mustards that outcompete our native wildflowers, this year’s outstanding bloom is not only a result of heavy rainfall this winter, but also the collapse of invasive species during drought over the past 5 years.”

One way to stay on top of where wildflowers are blooming is, of course the wildflower hotline. There are also other resources, Casey Schreiner, founder and editor of the website Modern Hiker, said, like DesertUSA.org. It includes information on nearby states as well, but also keeps track of blooms in Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve, to name a few.

“Seeing the wildflowers is a sign of hope,” said Rosemary Passantino at Marin County Parks and Open Space.

The blooms across the region arrived even after strong winds out of the northwest dried surface soils at the tail end of a lackluster rainy season. At Iacopi Farms, while the blooms still stretch across the coastal farmland, they are just past peak, Iacopi said, and the farm may plow the flowers under next week in favor of artichokes.

Across much of the Bay Area, wild mustard and California poppies are doing the best.

While the state may be on track to lift coronavirus restrictions, we’re still very much in a pandemic. Schreiner recommends checking with the city or park you’re planning to visit, but count on wearing a mask (some places require it, while others do so only if you’re passing people) and keeping your distance from others on the trail.

For those looking to snag the perfect Instagram shot, the key times to visit your local poppy fields are between now and the end of April at lower elevations such as as the Coachella and Imperial Valleys and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Minnich suspects they’ll be ankle- to knee-high.

// If you’re looking to immediately go without planning a trip down south, either Russian Ridge in Redwood City or Edgewood park in San Carlos are good starts. Feature photo courtesy of the California Tourism Board.


Super Bloom Will Not Arrive But California’s Wildflowers Are On Their Way
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