Wildflower Superbloom @ Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, 3/10/2023

Wildflower Superbloom @ Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, 3/10/2023

Will there be a superbloom this year? The short answer- maybe. It is still too early to predict if the storms will lead to a showy 2023 spring bloom. A good wildflower year depends on at least three things like a well-spaced rainfall throughout the winter and spring, sufficient warmth from the sun and Lack of drying winds.

Gentle rain that soaks deeply into the soil is essential for a desert floral display. To begin, a rainstorm of a half inch or more is needed to wash the protective coating off wildflower seeds and allow them to sprout. For plants to continue growing, rainstorms must come at evenly-spaced intervals throughout the winter and spring. The best blooms are triggered by an early, winter-type rainstorm in September or October, followed by an El Niño weather pattern that brings above average rainfall to the Desert Southwest.

Wildflower seeds that sprout with cool winter storms often remain small and low to the ground until the springtime sun starts to warm the soil. They may not look like they are growing, but a strong root system is developing below the surface. As the temperatures get warmer, the well established plants then put on a growth spurt and start to bloom.

Frequent springtime windstorms without additional rain can bring about a quick end to the spring bloom or even prevent it from happening by killing off delicate sprouts. Dry, moving air dehydrates exposed surfaces of all living things, including human beings. Desert plants often have waxy, hairy, or spiny leaves to baffle the wind and retain precious moisture. Humans can carry and drink water as needed, but the wildflowers must grow and bloom before they dry out, or late-spring heat arrives, in order to leave seeds scattered on the desert floor to produce the next generation.

At Joshua Tree National Park most of the showy desert wildflowers are annuals, also referred to as ephemerals because they are short-lived. Oddly enough, this limited lifespan ensures survival here. Rather than struggle to stay alive during the desert’s most extreme conditions, annual wildflowers lie dormant as seeds. When enough rain finally does fall, the seeds quickly sprout, grow, bloom and go back to seed again before the dryness and heat returns. By blooming enmasse during good years, wildflowers can attract large numbers of pollinators such as butterflies, moths, bees and hummingbirds that might not otherwise visit. #joshuatreenationalpark #wildflower #nature #flowers #wildflowers #flower #sos #naturephotography #macro #photography #flowersofinstagram #flowerphotography #flowerstagram #calumhood #ashtonirwin

Note to Readers:

A beautiful respite from the war talk…

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