Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers: Bloom report



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Data are collected following the hiked path shown below and includes the immediate area.
One fertile flower (male or female), is all it takes to count a species in bloom.

We try to visit a lot of different areas, but areas with a better bloom may be visited more often.
It makes a huge difference if the bloom count is from a very dry badlands area, or from a place with a good rainfall or along a creek.

The data in the graph are averaged out over a couple of days, to show the actual daily bloom count in the graph, click on the legend on the right until only one is active (black).
With only one selected bars will pop up representing the daily bloom count.


Tom Chester made a couple of great pages with more specific data: Tom Chester bloom reports

The 2021-2022 bloom report:

Bloom prediction for the Anza-Borrego Desert:


Mid August 2021:

YES at last Monsoonal rain from 0.3 to over 1 Inch below 300 feet.
More water might have drained in certain washes.
Click on the rain icon for more information.

Early October 2021:

The best spot with good monsoonal bloom: lower Oriflamme canyon / Rodrigues canyon (best on the west side).
Driving along the road it looks a thunderstorm from Blair Valley up to Oriflamme dropped a lot of rain.

October 8 2021:

Still a good collection of flowers along the north part of the Butte Pass Road (both sides of the road).
Flowering: Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop by the hundreds; Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills;Hilaria rigida , Big galetta and more.

October 23 2021:

Between Rainbow Canyon and Blair Valley Dry lake, scrubs are green, some Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed on both sides of the road.
Bloom in Box Canyon is not bad.
Blair Valley Dry Lake and more so Little Blair Valley Dry Lake are very dry.
Good looking Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed close to the Morteros crossing south of Blair Valley Dry Lake.

October 25 2021:

On our revisit:
Still a good collection of flowers along the north part of the Butte Pass Road (both sides of the road).
Flowering: Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop by the hundreds; Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills;Hilaria rigida , Big galetta and more.
You will find some flowering plants in Blowsand Canyon, but things are much drier out there.

November 2 2021:

Fish Creek is pretty dry, in the South Fork past Loop Road:
Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow some in good bloom.
Showy Ericameria paniculata , Blackbanded rabbitbrush starting to bloom.

November 14 2021:

The area around June wash if good for the time of year.
Plenty of plants in bloom.

The end of the year 2021 bloom below normal as in very low and spotty.
No significant rain for months.



November/30/2021 Whale West Loop


You can still see the effects of the summer rain on the very green Prunus fremontii , Desert apricot closer to Whale Mountain.
Otherwise it's dry and a little better closer to the Whale Mountain.

Whale Mountain is the are for the largest Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina in the Anza Borrego Desert.
Spared by the fire they can grow real tall.

Also the largest collection of Opuntia chlorotica , Pancake prickly pear anywhere in the Anza Borrego Desert.


Bloom: Very low, about 4.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/29/2021 PCT Warner Springs north B3b


To goal was to find nascent inflorescence on Manzanita, this turned out to be a good choice, this is a very good place for a variety of Manzanita.

Bloom: Low, about 10.


Hike details


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/27/2021 Grapevine loop 3


We've not done this loop for 5 1/2 years.
As expected bloom is low, but you always pick up something in a longer 4 hour hike.
By the hundreds, Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla , Little leaf chaparral beard tongue, not sure if we've ever seen so many on a hike.

The hike involves a rather steep climb at the end of the first canyon (about half way) and a field of Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise. Luckily the chamise didn't grow too dense.

A revisit is certainly warranted, but it will probably never be as good as after the fire.

Bloom: Low, about 20.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/26/2021 North of Clark dry lake loop


We wanted to check out the sand dunes north of Clark Dry Lake.
No germination at all, not even Brassica tournefortii , Sahara mustard;Asian mustard.
Except for some blooming Ditaxis neomexicana , New Mexico ditaxis close to the road, that germinated months ago.

We took pictures of ever single Lycium brevipes brevipes , Common desert thorn, the flower variation is higher than we liked.
This shows how difficult it is to ID Lycium from a single flower picture.
What we noticed: Flowers are smaller and the tube is longer than the average Lycium brevipes brevipes we find.

The frequent bloomer, hundreds of Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush with sometimes a good bloom.


Bloom: Very low, the worst so far.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/25/2021 Glorietta Canyon Loop 4


Bloom is almost not existing, except for some Justicia californica , Chuparosa with a few flowers.
Some Fouquieria splendens splendens , Ocotillo are in bud and a sparse flower.

This area is live and die for Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus, in a death struggle plants produce up to 5 clones, sometimes as branches, or at the bottom of the (almost) death mother plant.
Once in a while the mother Ferocactus cylindraceus does not die and now lives along it's clones.
We added many of these in the iNaturalist observations below.

Bloom: Very low, the worst so far.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/23/2021 Ysidrio peak


Our goal, to widen the range of Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.
There is no detectable variation in all the Arctostaphylos parryana desertica we checked. We checked some fruit, from the plants, and we were unable to split any by hand.
We noticed that the young leaves were bright green, on the contrary to Arctostaphylos glandulosa were we didn't see color difference between younger and older leaves.

Another goal, to check the Brickellia.
They all turned out to be good Brickellia californica , California brickellbush.
To separate them from Brickellia desertorum: Find the largest leaves down the main stems, the leaves need to be at least 1/2 way down the main stem.
If you only find leaves (anywhere on the plant) that fit Brickellia desertorum and no leaves on the lower 1/2 of the main stem, check the bristles (fruit or flower) , if there are no flowers or fruit, the plant is inconclusive.

We didn't hike all the way to the peak, as we spend too much time checking Manzanita.

Bloom: Very low, but better than a couple of weeks ago.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/22/2021 Garnet Peak to Kwaaymii point


The goal was to check Arctostaphylos glandulosa to find Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii and Arctostaphylos glandulosa glandulosa.
It seems that both are sticky, making the ID tricky as both attract dust, Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii might look partly glandular because of the dust.
Leaf color is some indication, but far from conclusive.
The good Arctostaphylos glandulosa fruit can be split by finger pressure. Ruling out Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.

We found many Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon, they seem to favor rocks and rabbits or deer favor them as many are grazed.
This is home to Ericameria cuneata macrocephala , Laguna mountains goldenbush, that maybe a month ago, must have bloomed spectacular.

Bloom: Very low.

Link for the hike

All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/20/2021 Culp Valley Springs to Jasper Trail loop


This is always an interesting hike up to the Jasper Trail.
We forgot how big the Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush are out here, living in boulders, most must have survived the fire.

Real surprising, the many Golden ear drops, Ehrendorferia chrysantha that are still alive and well, with some in bloom.
The hundreds of Malacothamnus enigmaticus , Enigmatic bushmallow are almost completely gone.

Bloom: Low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/19/2021 Palm Spring Loop


We wanted to explore a couple of washes close to Palm Spring.
There used to be 3 mature palms, now only 2 remain.
No sign of the rain that hit the June Wash area.

This is a nice scenic hike and we enjoy the scenery more with the lack of flowering plants.
We added a number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.

Our next stop: Little Devil Wash An interesting wash, with a lot of skeleton plants, so maybe a revisit in prime time.
Again we added a good number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.

Bloom: Very low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/16/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop


On our last trip we marked a drainage to explore.
Our trip took up a but further up the washes.
Many Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush are still in bloom.
Some good blooming Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed remain of the thousands that are done.

We wanted to widen the range of reported Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge. Not too long ago we thought it to be a rare plant, but not here with plants all over in the thousands.
And not once a year but often found twice a year.
Driving the "road" further towards Fish Creek Mountains to see if we could find out the direction most of the water came from. We didn't find it.
The weird thing, there are no main washes. The Carrizo, Fish Creek washes spread out over a wide plain, leaving a large salt lake like area.
After a while they form gulleys and eventually wider and deeper washes ending in a Tamarix forest.
The San Felipe Wash and washes out of the Borrego Badlands are more defined but still cover a wide area.

Bloom: Good, but number of plants low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/15/2021 Azalea Glen Loop


As expected, we only picked up some late bloomers.
It's a nice and easy hike for what might be the last hot day.

Bloom: Low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/13/2021 June - Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado Loop


We expected there would be some bloom in the area, but it's much better.
Most perennials, except trees and cacti are in bloom.
There is even wide spread germination, from rain and water flowing down the washes.

What's lacking is follow up rain, to make this a great spring bloom.

Bloom: Very good (for the time of year).


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/12/2021 Pena Springs - Hellhole Canyon Ridge


This is very very dry.
Along the long hike in rough terrain, we still found one blooming Diplacus longiflorus , Hairy bush monkeyflower, that found a sweet spot in between two boulders.
One Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina with a swinging flower stalk.
One blooming Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella in the shade.
Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush is one of the more reliable bloomers no matter what.

At Pena Spring a lot of blooming Erythranthe cardinalis , Scarlet monkeyflower.

Bloom: Very low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/11/2021 Banner Lucky Strike Mine


A hike along Chariot Canyon (dry) creek.
Here we found the best (relative) bloom of the area.
Some odd bloom, like Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella and Rhus ovata , Sugar bush.
An certain area to revisit in spring.

Bloom: Not bad for the time of year.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/9/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop


We hiked a shorter alternative loop included in the GPX download.

The goal was to see if we could find Fort Mohave wild buckwheat, Eriogonum ordii skeletons (The plants might be something else, but key that way.). We did found skeletons but the results are inconclusive, like a maybe.
We did however find a good and interesting bloom.
At the start the sweet smell of blooming Tamarix aphylla , Athel tamarisk.
Not so pleasant smelling, from the blooming Suaeda nigra , Bush seepweed and Allenrolfea occidentalis , Iodine bush.

Surprisingly big blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Many blooming Palafoxia arida arida , Spanish needles.

Along our hike Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge by the hundreds, this is certainly the hot spot with bloom often at the end of the year and by the end of Spring.

As always way WAY too many Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk often in bloom.

Bloom: Good for the time of year, about 15 different plants in good bloom. Warning many flowers are really tiny and spread over a large area.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/8/2021 CRH - Soapstone Grade - Upper Green Valley - La Cima trail


As expected bloom is low, but the plant skeletons are interesting.
Some Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia at the end of bloom.
A couple of blooming Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium , California buckwheat, but mostly reddish.
One of the better bloomers is Eriogonum elongatum elongatum , Long stemmed buckwheat.

Our goal was to photograph Arctostaphylos glandulosa , Eastwood manzanita flower buds and find fruit.

Bloom: Low, about 20 with few in bloom.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/6/2021 Hawi Vallecito - Storm Canyon Mountain loop


We hiked a short version of the hike.

This is as dry as it gets, bloom is almost not existing.
A lone blooming Agave deserti deserti , Desert agave.
Some Stephanomeria pauciflora , Wire lettuce and Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush.

Bloom: A handful.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/5/2021 San Ysidro Prospects


A visit to a couple of prospects/mines.
One of the goals was to check Arctostaphylos / Manzanita.
Bloom is almost not existing.
Some interesting plants close to the car.
Here we found the tallest (> 2 Meter) Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen.
Along the road we also found the prettiest Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen, we didn't believe it when we noticed the yellow plant in the distance.


Bloom: Very low, slightly better in the wash close to the start.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/4/2021 Golden Queen mine lake loop


A hike with a twist to follow up the skeletons of Linum lewisii lewisii , Prairie flax Don posted on iNaturalist and to check seeds of Petrorhagia dubia , Hairypink.

Instead of hiking along the road, we headed for the lake.
At the lake Typha latifolia , Broad leaf cattail dispersing seeds is a great sight.
Here we headed along the rocky creek and eventually meeting the road again.

We walked more or less along the road and at the crossing headed for the Fages Monument to check Petrorhagia dubia for seeds.
Picking up a lone blooming Trichostema parishii , Parish's bluecurls.
Here we also found many what looked like Gutierrezia californica , California matchweed, with a much larger looking flower.

Back cross country, hiking up Frasera parryi , Parry's green gentian hill.
Now following a drainage, completing the loop towards the lake.


Bloom: Low, but better than expected.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/2/2021 Dieguenos/Deguynos Loop


Fish Creek is pretty dry, in the South Fork past Loop Road: Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow some in good bloom.
Showy Ericameria paniculata , Blackbanded rabbitbrush starting to bloom.

At the beginning blooming Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush that's a very good start.
Directly in the wash bloom is very good.

Good blooming plants:
Ambrosia dumosa , Burrobush
Encelia frutescens frutescens, Button brittlebush
Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush
Isocoma acradenia eremophila , Toothed leaved alkali goldenbush
Psorothamnus emoryi emoryi , Emory's indigo bush
Krameria bicolor , White rhatany
Krameria erecta , Pima rhatany
Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed

YES, we found another Encelia Farinosa X frutescens , Hybrid brittlebush, that is now included in the Jepson Key.
Other interesting plants: Pilostyles thurberi , Thurber's pilostyles and a 4 flag Krameria bicolor , White rhatany.

We took a shortcut that shaved almost an hour of the otherwise long hike.
Here we found an exceptional display, of often fully blooming Krameria, a rare sight.


Bloom: Good for the time of year, many blooming plants in the wash.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

November/1/2021 San Felipe Wildlife Area


Again a very dry area, a bit greener along some springs.
We hiked around, gathering vouchers.
WARNING: Hunters seem to be more active than usual, even on weekdays.


Bloom very low.



All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/30/2021 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop


From the road this looked promising with some of the best Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed we've seen this season.
At the start of the hike things look good, but the fresh plants dropped considerably further on.
A persistent weak bloomer: Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush.

The most interesting find a number of green/withe Euphorbia setiloba , Yuma spurge. We only see them once in a while this way.


Bloom low, some blooming plants closer to the road.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/29/2021 Chico Ravine - Laguna - Agua Dulce Loop


Wow this looks very dry, maybe the driest place we've seen so far. The recent rain might not change much.
Quercus kelloggii , California black oak are preparing to get rid of their leaves, making for a nice colorful display.

There isn't much water left in big lake. What's left of the green stuff, is prime target for the cows.


Bloom very low, around 10 different plants, most is low numbers.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/26/2021 Mason Valley Salt Creek Loop


From the S2 the May 2021 fire seem to be have been small.
On the route there is some destruction of the several firebreaks.
The fire has covered most of the western part of the unnamed canyon we hiked in.
Otherwise the fire is surprisingly spotty.
The good thing, this will be an interesting spring 2022 hike.

The start is depressingly dry, but gets better closer to the hills and in washes.
Regrowth is spectacular, Krameria bicolor / White rhatany already close to 30 cm high, almost as high as a mature plant, but lacks much of it's original with.
Cacti seem to suffer more, but time will tell.
There sure will be an enormous amount of Argemone munita , Prickly poppy next spring.

An enormous number of good-looking Datura wrightii , Jimson weed and a good number of way beyond peak Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
This is prime Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed terrain, plants are just past peak bloom.

We found another spring we missed last time, now the green spot is easy to see with a good pool water hidden in Schoenoplectus americanus , American tule.
Vast amounts of Distichlis spicata , Salt grass in both springs.
.
Bloom low, around 20 different plants, most is low numbers.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/25/2021 West Butte east


Bloom is still relatively good, with hundreds of good blooming Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop and plenty of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
That said plants are well past peak bloom, but a couple of weeks ago we made the same observation and things don't look that much worse.

Many very good looking and blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Look for the tiny flowers of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling, most are done, but some are still in bloom.

Bloom is not too bad.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/23/2021 Blair Valley Granite Mountain Loop


Not too long ago this whole area was covered with Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed. Mainly around washes you still find a lot of fresh plants.

Lots of nice blooming Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush, Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills and a very pretty Eriogonum plumatella , Yucca buckwheat.

We've been checking Boerhavia for a couple of weeks (there are hundreds of thousands) , so fare no luck finding the one we were searching for, until now. Boerhavia coulteri palmeri, Palmer's spiderling.
In Box Canyon proper, the bloom is actually not too bad.

Bloom is not too bad.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/22/2021 Moonlight Canyon Trail


The area and the trail are very dry, except for the springs.
Bloom is low, except for the Isocoma acradenia eremophila , Toothed leaved alkali goldenbush.

Bloom is very low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/21/2021 Noble Canyon Loop


Things look dry, the creek is flowing, intermittent higher up the canyon.

Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed is by far the best bloomer right now, followed by Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia.

Bloom is about 20 different plants.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/19/2021 1-5-17 Palms


It's still cool, time for a relaxed hike in the badlands.
There are enough interesting plants to explore, even if the bloom is low.
Especially Cylindropuntia echinocarpa , Golden cholla;Silver cholla look fresh and golden.

The loop consists of two combined hikes 1-5-17 palms and the link below.


Bloom is normal, in other words very low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/18/2021 Whale squeeze loop


This time we hiked along the edge of Whale Mountain, to find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge and we found many more.
Actually all kinds of Euphorbia are probably the best bloomer right now.

It's still sunny at the start and cold, the temps were probably close to freezing at the highest point of our hike.
If not for the temperature, sure enough with the wind blowing over the mountain.

The most visible bloom is Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush that are at their best right now.
Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth all along our hike, thousands.
Some germination like Phacelia distans , Common phacelia, even one already in bloom.
Even out of bloom, Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina are spectacular.

Driving back towards Scissors Crossing some light rain.

Bloom is low, with some germination.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/16/2021 Bisnaga Middle


At the start, maybe the best cactus area in the Anza Borrego Desert.
We expected a usual dry hike.
But soon lots of blooming Justicia californica , Chuparosa a rare sight at the moment.
The area is covered with Euphorbia pediculifera pediculifera , Carrizo mountain spurge and Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.

Hibiscus denudatus , Rock hibiscus took us by surprise, most plants are in good bloom, wow.

All in all a much better than expected flower show, with plenty, probably too many rocks and boulders.

Bloom is low but good for the time of year, in the washes up to Whale Peak.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/15/2021 Coyote Canyon


Driving into Coyote Canyon, things turn a bit greener past Alcoholic Pass.
Road is very good, and water is flowing in First up to Third Crossing.
Water flow is strong and a nice pool at Second Crossing.

The stream has shifted over the years, building a great jungle of scrubs, dead and alive.
Not too long ago it was easy to more or less follow the stream. Right now that's very difficult.
Fields of non-native grasses in and around the creek.
Plenty of small and more mature Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk.

What used to be a great flower creek, is a big disappointment at the moment.
Things were better a couple of weeks ago judging by the Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed.
Field of almost out of bloom Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills and Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop.
Most of the Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow are blooming.

It's dry, bloom is low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/14/2021 Horse Canyon


Driving into Anza things don't look promising for our goal to find Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star in bloom.
Every year the Coyote Canyon Road deteriorates and becomes more challenging.
We nowadays stop before Turkey Track, where the road hits the wash.

The road past our parking point is very interesting and we are glad to hike instead of driving.
Even the wash "road" into Horse Canyon, that used to be very good is now in very bad shape.

We've never seen Lepidospartum squamatum , Scale broom;California broomsage bloom this good.
The smell is very strong, too strong to be a pleasant smell.

It's dry and our guess a bit late for Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star.
Our first point is up a steeper slippery slope and YES a blooming plant.
Interesting up there, more so while moving to the other side of the plant taking pictures, without crashing down the hill.
The ultimate proof, I was covered with dead Mentzelia leaves, almost impossible to get off the shift.
It's an almost dead looking plant with several flowers and buds.

Hiking up the wash, NO WAY a big plant right in the middle of the wash.
Plants all over, big plants, more than 30 alive or at least very recently.
This must be one of the better years for the plants; we've never seen so many.

A long 4 1/2 hour hike, at temperatures < 70 degrees and a light breeze, perfect hiking weather.

It's dry but not bad, with over 30 different plants in bloom.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/12/2021 Pct Warner Springs to Eagle Rock


The night before we had a sand storm and a very short heavy not measurable rain.
It was close to freezing in Ranchita when we found a couple of Oenothera californica avita , California evening primrose in bloom.

Dry dry, it looks very dry, almost no bloom except for the Eriogonum wrightii membranaceum , Wright's buckwheat.

Our goal was to find Heterotheca sessiliflora echioides, Bristly goldenaster.
YES we found several plants, but not on the iNaturalist location.

Surprisingly not a single blooming Cucurbita foetidissima , Stinking gourd and this is prime territory.

It's very dry, bloom almost not existing, except at springs.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/11/2021 Buttes Canyon Loop


On our last trip, this seems the place to be to see some kind of bloom.
Most of the trip is carpeted with Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop that were closed when we started our hike.
Past 9 A.M. they opened and pointed the flowers somewhat towards the sun.
Really surprising to see so many green and flowering Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.

Interestingly most Krameria/Rhatany looked a bit like Psorothamnus schottii , Indigo bush, with almost the same color.
Very good looking, Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.

Most noticeable plants in bloom:
Hundreds of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills (blooming early); Euphorbia, spurge; Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
Thousands of Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop (blooming past 9:30 A.M.) most plants are past peak bloom
The canyon walls covered with hundreds of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
In the washes many blooming Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed.

We tried to add all blooming plants to iNaturalist.

It's dry, bloom not to high, but above average, this might be one of the best spots in the badlands.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/9/2021 Green Valley Falls - Sweetwater Loop


Close to our start a good blooming Arceuthobium campylopodum , Pine dwarf mistletoe.
Our goal was to find seed pods of Astragalus oocarpus , San Diego milkvetch and we found plenty.
Some blooming plants: Ericameria pinifolia , Pine goldenbush; Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star and Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed.

In pooling water we found one new plant: Mentha canadensis, American cornmint.


It's dry, bloom is low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/8/2021 Cairn wash - pirate wash loop


Driving up the Fish Creek Wash (Split Mountain) every single Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow was in bloom.
At the Anticline the Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster seems to be GONE.
On our way back we double checked and found something small still alive. We already noticed the plant never got any bigger in the dozens of years it' been at that spot, most like the best photographed Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster ever.

Plenty of signs of rain, even some water pooling at the start of the hike.
But... the plants look unusually bleak.
The Lycium andersonii, Anderson's desert thorn look dead, but it's more likely that we're simply too early and the plants are still mostly dormant.

Very fresh Krameria erecta , Pima rhatany, just out of bloom.
The best blooming plants in great numbers: Hoffmannseggia microphylla , Hoffmannseggia and Tidestromia suffruticosa oblongifolia , Arizona honeysweet.
This time around we could even smell the latter from a distant, not a pleasant smell, like a decomposing animal.

There are a spectacular number of skeletons of Chorizanthe rigida , Devil's spineflower and Eriogonum trichopes , Little desert trumpet.

On our return trip we visited the San Felipe Wash and Butte Pass Road, see above.

It's dry, bloom is low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/7/2021 West Mesa Monument Loop


Heading up to Julian, we drove into a low cloud cover, this isn't looking good.
Things clear up as we pass Julian, some blue patches and a thin cloud cover.
Excellent hiking temps in the low 60's.

Things look drier than we've seen before, no sign of any water along the loop.
Bloom is certainly at the very end, with some nice Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star.
Time to ID dead plants, interesting to see how they look all dried up.
The good thing, we had a good hike well within the planned 4 hours.

It's dry, bloom is low.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/5/2021 Buck Canyon


Driving up the Montazuma, plants look summer dry.
The Buck Canyon area looks dry, bloom is probably lower than the previous years.
The good stuff happens around a couple springs.

The goal was to find blooming Helianthus californicus , California sunflower and we found some in bloom, but just barely in time.
A bonus: one Heteromeles arbutifolia , Toyon with some flowers and a couple of Mentha spicata , Spearmint we've never seen in bloom before.

It's time for rushes to bloom like Juncus xiphioides , Iris leaf rush.

Bloom is low, except as springs.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/4/2021 Pinyon Mnt


Our goal today: To find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge.
Driving up on the Pinyon Mnt road plants look dry, not a good sign.
We expected nothing or only skeletons, but we found > 10 healthy plants just past bloom.

Now back to the 2 point Tom Chester gave us a couple of years back.
YES more plants on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt exactly at Toms location, but very small plants.
We almost gave up hope and crossed over to the north side (Pinyon Mnt) to check on the Eriogonum apiculatum , San Jacinto buckwheat. We still needed basal leaves, but those were long gone.
This area is home to blooming Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush.

We hiked east and looped back along Whale mountain on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt road.
Soon we found more and more Euphorbia revoluta, bigger and bigger plants in the hundreds.
Plants a lot bigger than we've seen before, enough plants to take a voucher of 2 large plants.

Bloom is low as expected this time of year. Bloom was obviously better a couple of weeks ago closer to the monsoonal rain



All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

October/2/2021 Oriflamme Canyon


As soon as we passed Blair Valley dry lake, we noticed the many Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii , Climbing milkweed green and in fruit a good sign for recent rain. Wow a lot of water flowed on the road aka the wash, lots of soft sand making driving interesting.
Lots of good blooming Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow along the road.
Suddenly bigger rocks on the road, too large for us to try, still an 1 hour hike from our previous stop.

We just hit the epicenter of the bloom that we might have missed if we could drive to our regular parking spot.
The torrential flow was very visible by it's destruction and originates from Charriot mountain.
On the other side of Rodrigues canyon (Granite mountain) the bloom was good, but is now close to it's end.

The combination heavy rain and a recent fire made for a spectacular end of the year bloom. Probably as good as it gets this time of year.

Striking: The thousands of blooming Boerhavia triquetra intermedia , Fivewing spiderling and carpets of Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills.
The latter is puzzling, the good part of the canyon the plants key to subsp. villosa (flowers way over 2 cm Jepson Key) and the other side to incarnata (flowers 3 times smaller). As if the plants vary the flower size by growing conditions.
Pectis papposa papposa, everywhere, one side of the canyon blooming and the other side just a faint yellow glow.
Big fresh looking Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth everywhere.
Many Datura wrightii , Jimson weed.
The list goes on and on, check the iNaturalist observations for some of them.

Into the Oriflamme Canyon the bloom dropped considerably to mostly dry, except for the Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia.
We almost forgot our main goal, checking the Malosma laurina , Laurel sumac, unfortunately, no bloom.

Bloom is as good as it gets this time of year.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

September/30/2021 Cuyamaca


Tom Chester and group spend 2 days in the area and reported a couple of plants we've never seen in bloom before.
Our plan was to hike an easy loop up to Azalea Spring Loop along some of these plants.
We got distracted going cross country finding plants and ended up at Cuyamaca peak on a 5 hour hike.

Bloom is spotty, but interesting.


Hike details, click on the photo's above


All our plants from this date on iNaturalist
iNat observations may be posted later-on, as our time is limited.

Reports from previous seasons

Season: 2020-2021 Season: 2019-2020 Season: 2018-2019 Season: 2017-2018 Season: 2016-2017