Summer season tremendous bloom? Showy flowers pop within the Mojave Desert

No, you don’t see anything. Some southern California deserts are currently in bloom. In late August, yellow carpets of native chinchweed began to appear in parts of the Mojave Desert.

“The late summer bloom is due to the fact that some areas had significant rainfall in July and August,” wrote Madena Asbell, director of crop protection for the Mojave Desert Land Trust, in an email.

Summer monsoons (which Asbell described as “patchy and unpredictable”), which fall only half an inch of rain, can accelerate the germination of summer annuals such as chinchweed and fringed amaranth, which desert tortoises rely on for food. These plants only germinate when the soil is warm and there is a lot of rain.

“Like spring super blooms, there is really nothing ‘typical’ about it [summer blooms]what makes them so special – it all depends on when, where and how much rain falls, ”Asbell wrote.

“I’d say my jaw dropped,” Palm Springs artist Kenny Irwin Jr. told Desert Sun. He was driving near Landers, California when he saw an abundance of yellow flowers. “It’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen a super bloom in the middle of summer. It seemed to defy reality.”

Joshua Tree National Park spokeswoman Hannah Schwalbe confirmed that chinchweed appeared in White Tank near the center of the park a few weeks ago but has now peaked. “I haven’t seen any other flowers, but this time of year I keep an eye out for bladder pods, fringed amaranth and ocotillo flowers,” she wrote in an email.

Other newer flowers include a native grass called coniferous grass, brittle creosote, desert senna, acton encelia or brittlebush, and large galleta grass. Some cacti bloom a second time.

Spring is still the best time to see the greatest variety of wildflowers. But summer brings different flowers that can be just as special. “The yellow chinchweed is impressive, but the fringed amaranth really shows off too,” Asbell wrote.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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