Desert Bloom

Lee Poulsen
Tue, 01 Mar 2005 11:41:19 PST
Today's Los Angeles Times has a full-page spread in their Outdoors  
section about the expected great flower bloom this spring in the  
California (Arizona, Baja California) deserts, including a map of the  
four main desert parks and write-ups of a few of the flowers that they  
expect to see, including Hesperocallis undulata. There is even a link  
to a photo of it in flower on the page given below. At the end of this  
article they give phone numbers and URLs for the bloom information of  
each of the 4 parks, as well as the phone number and URL of the flower  
hotline of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native  
Plants, which grows and sells seeds and plants of California natives.  
Uli and Jane (and any others interested) may want to check those out.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10 

Floral fireworks

This is the year for wildflower stalking. So let David Lukas take you  
into the brief life and times of some of the more colorful desert  
natives -- before they vanish.
  By David Lukas
  Special to The Times

  March 1, 2005

  The process is easy: just add water and the deserts of Southern  
California burst into color. During the El Niño year of 1998, for  
instance, a series of rainstorms transformed a 40-mile stretch of  
Interstate 40 between Barstow and Needles into a carpet of gold, and  
while this year's flowers can still be jeopardized by heavy rains or a  
sudden heat wave, 2005 promises to be a phenomenal year. Already  
wildflower enthusiasts are making plans to follow the bloom from the  
lower elevations — Anza-Borrego, Joshua Tree and portions of Death  
Valley — in March to the higher elevations — the Mojave Preserve — in  
April and May. Most of the flowers below, and many others, will be  
found in all four regions, and the trail recommendations cover just a  
sliver of territory. No guide can do justice to such extravagance, but  
the point is simple: Spring passes swiftly, and while desert plants  
bloom intensely, they also bloom fleetingly.

  Catching the desert bloom

  For more information about desert parks, contact:

Death Valley National Park
  (760) 786-3200 or

Joshua Tree National Park
  (760) 367-5500 or…

Mojave National Preserve
(760) 733-4040 or

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
(760) 767-5311 or

  The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants in  
Sunland maintains a wildflower hotline from March through May at (818)  
768-3533 or

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times

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