El Niño Rain Brings Explosion of Wildflower Color to Borrego Desert

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Desert sunflowers and Desert Sand Verbena bloom off Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs. Photo by Chris Stone

Amid rain and gusty winds Friday night, a steady stream of San Diegans made the wildflower pilgrimage to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. They weren’t disappointed.

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Strong winds continued Saturday, but “conditions are great right now for viewing flowers in the Borrego Valley,” the Anza-Borrego Natural History Association said in its latest bloom report.

A Barrel cactus is crowned with yellow blooms in the Anza Borrego area. Photo by Chris Stone

The group has free flower maps at its Borrego Desert Nature Center, 652 Palm Canyon Drive, one block west of Christmas Circle.

Meanwhile, Fred Melgert of Borrego Springs told the association of an Anza-Borrego Flower App he developed — available free for Android phones in the Google Play Store. He says an app for iPhone will be ready by the end of the year.

“This is a free guide to the basics of identifying over 100 of the most common wildflowers, and how to tell look-alikes apart,” Melgert writes. “Pictures show the characteristics you need, including colors, flowers, leaves, stems, branches and more.”

The association’s 18th annual Borrego Desert Garden Tour is 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Details are here.

A Facebook page also shares the latest Borrego beauty.

A California lilac blooms near state Route 2 and Highway 79. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A bee flies to a Native Fairy Duster at the Visitor's Center in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Cholla blooms at the visitor center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Barrel cactus is crowned with yellow blooms in the Anza-Borrego area. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A bee flies to a Native Fairy Duster at the Visitor's Center in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Cholla opens its yellow blooms at sunrise in the Anza-Borrego area. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Desert sunflowers and Desert Sand Verbena bloom off Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A bloom of a Barrel cactus in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A bug gathers pollen in a Cholla bloom. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Beavertail cactus is covered with blooms at the visitor center in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
An Ocotillo bloom gives the desert color at sunrise in the Anza-Borrego area. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Flowers of the Indigo Bush and the Brittlebush combine for a colorful display. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Brittlebrush flowers bloom at the visitor center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Apricot colored blooms decorate a Cholla in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Desert sunflowers and Desert Sand Verbena bloom off Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Cholla blooms in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A variety of desert plants are blooming in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A Dune Evening Primrose blooms off Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs. Photo by Chris Stonemore
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