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Out here in the desert we love the wide vistas of red rocks and brilliant sunsets. The desert is full of surprises with its red tinged earth tones and life despite the lack of water and stifling heat. However, in rare instances we are blessed with a super bloom and it is truly a sight to see.
When we are blessed with winter rains in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts it is more than a welcome change for us and just about every plant and animal out there. While it’s not always a grantee it can indicate an amazing blanket of wildflowers come early spring across our rocky landscape. Unlike the eastern region of the United States where spring blooms are more predictable, a super bloom may skip several years and are difficult to predict. Its robustness isn’t always reliant on how much winter rain we’ve received but when the rain falls in time with optimal wild seed germination. However, this year due to the rain we’ve received we predict the possibility as close as Tucson!
What Makes Super Bloom?
No, not Super Bowl—Super Bloom! Super blooms is a colloquial term for a wild wash of flowers blanketing the desert floor with a sea of color rarely seen in the dry and rocky Sonoran and Mojave deserts. Due to the fragility of the ecosystem in threat from constant construction and industry, these days, super blooms mainly occur in protected pockets of the Southwestern desert in California, Arizona, and Nevada. And the good news is that while it can be incredibly difficult to say for sure, this Spring 2023 experts are predicting that it will be a well-above average bloom season.
What Exactly is a Super Bloom?
A super bloom is a rather rare botanical occurrence which consist of a unprecedented amount of flowers spouting simultaneously for dormant seeds. It only happens when the conditions are just right, including a high seed bank, the perfect amount of rain, a dry stretch after that to warm the soil, ideal cloud coverage at night to provide temperature insulation and an absence of damaging winds to allow the blooms to produce and thrive. This particular set of circumstances, when they do occur, means that people may be motivated to travel far and wide to seek out this rare occurrence.
When to Seek Out a Super Bloom
Many factors affect when a Super Bloom will burst including rainfall and temperatures at the time, however you can expect certain protected areas to provide blooms regardless if the sheer amount of blooms is enough to technically be considered “Super”.
Here’s a monthly guide to what you may find blooming in Tucson and parts of the California Mojave, such as Joshua Tree which is worth the long drive for a robust bloom.
Blooms can start as early as February in the lower desert altitudes where temperatures tend to be hotter. However, by March, temperatures are beginning to rise and is a reliable time to see a wide offering of poppies, delphinium, and orange globe mallows. By April expect the peak season to recede, however as we begin to return to temperature which start to touch the high 90s and peak past 100 degrees fahrenheit, it’s time for the showing of brilliant cholla, paddle cactus and saguaro cactus to bloom which can last till June and produce a whole new swell during the monsoon season in Tucson through August.
Seeking Out an Arizona Super Bloom
While California is ripe with protected desert and the perfect climate for the rare Super Bloom, the best place to find a wide carpet of blooms near us is Tucson: Tucson is located conveniently nearby to some prime wildflower viewing spots including Sendero Esperanza trail in Saguaro National Park West and Kings Canyon trail in Tucson Mountain Park. We also recommend Picacho Peak State Park just an hour and fifteen minutes from Phoenix.
The sun can be harsh, even in the early spring when the sun isn’t even at its hottest. Once you’ve tasted your eyes on a lush field of desert flowers, you are going to want to return home safe from the sun. CC sunscreens can provide shade for your home patio or over your windows to block out 90 percent of harmful UV rays. To find out more, schedule a free consultation with us today.