by Sandy Swegel
It’s looking good this year.
Most of us are still languishing in winter, looking for signs of crocus sprouting or swelling buds on trees, but the deserts of the US are ramping up for their big annual show. When wildflower lovers need a dose of Spring, they don’t go to a beach in Mexico or Hawaii, they head for the desert. Many of the flowers in the desert bloom in the early cool season (February to Early May), then revert into dormancy during the heat of summer. Naturally there’s a website for reporting wildflower sightings. My favorite wildflower website for the Southwest is http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html where you’ll find regular updates of rainfall and sightings of emerging plants and first bloom,
Forecasts for wildflowers are made from meteorological reports of rainfall and snowfall and sometimes soil moisture. It’s pretty basic…a wet winter means higher seed germination rates and more wildflowers.
Here’s what’s coming first in the deserts:
First bluebonnet (lupine) in Texas Big Bend National Park now.
What it will look like in southern Texas soon.
For your own wildflowers in your yard, you can tweak Nature a bit if you haven’t had much rain or snow this year. A little extra hand watering on your wildflowers if during dry spells this winter will boost your Spring bloom.