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Wildflower season is here; it's a "good bloom year"

Posted March 14, 2010, 4:42 PM.

It's the time of the year for wildflower blooms, especially after all of the recent rains that have made this the wettest year since 2007-2008 and perhaps the wettest since 2004-2005 in Southern California's inland valleys.

California golden poppies (the state flower) and other colorful wildflowers were blooming in patches along Interstate 15 this past weekend, behind their normal schedule for years that they do bloom.

In 2005, the show along the freeway was spectacular, and a few weeks earlier, with lots of yellow and orange blooms.

Most of the time, the Mojave and Borrego deserts are the best places to see wildflower blooms. The Santa Rosa Plateau is another good area.

According to an article in The Californian, the peak of the blooms could be about a week away or so.

For some technical information the blooms in the Borrego Desert, see this web page. "Bad bloom years are all the same," said Tom Chester, who tracks the blooms in the Borrego desert with frequent hikes. "Good bloom years are all different." Peak bloom in the Borrego desert this year began in late February in some areas, early March in others. Chester predicted that peak blooms would last through at least the middle of this month.

"Heat is the main factor that terminates a bloom," said Chester. " The end of the wildflower season will come when temperatures hit 80°F for a week or two. "The bloom can go into April in years with cooler March temperatures."

Other good sources of information are Carol Leigh's California Wildflower Hotsheet and Theodore Payne's Wildflower Hotline.

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The Fallbrook weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. Fallbrook, California is located in northern San Diego County, close to I15 and Camp Pendleton, and is home to ranches, avocado and citrus groves, and plant nurseries.
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