California Super Bloom

CAParishs Poppy

As experienced in Spring 2019 by Master Gardener Gary Krushel

California was experiencing a “super bloom” this year. What is a “super bloom”? It is a veritable explosion of wildflowers occurring at a number of locations across the state. As most of us have heard, seeds can lie dormant for years waiting for the right conditions in order to germinate. This past winter California experienced unusually wet weather. All that moisture saturated the desert landscape, and when the warmer spring temperatures arrived, the warm, moist conditions caused a significant amount of that dormant seed to germinate, resulting in a riot of colour blanketing some hillsides. This type of event typically only occurs every 10 to 20 years.

To appreciate just how extensive this bloom was there are photos on the web that were taken from space showing large swaths of colour.

While visiting Palm Springs during a Spring Break vacation, the best wildflower displays I saw were at the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and in Walker Canyon, just outside of Lake Elsinore. To walk for miles among acres and acres of this kind of natural beauty was a wonderful experience that I will not soon forget. Thousands upon thousands of people came to see and experience “the show”. This caused some headaches for the small local communities, which had to quickly respond to and deal with the influx of visitors. I guess this simply goes to prove that many people still enjoy the opportunity to get out and see nature first hand in all it’s grandeur.