Bloom Reports from the Anza-Borrego Desert: 2014-2015
The low-elevation Borrego Desert (below 1000 feet) received significant monsoonal rain on 3 August 2014, and the desert transition area (1000 to 4000 feet) received significant monsoon rain in early July 2014. A number of monsoonal species in the desert transition area responded to the early July rains, and in some places large numbers of monsoonal annuals germinated from the 3 August rains.
As of 2 September 2014, the monsoonal annuals are in peak bloom.
On 2 September 2014 we stopped at a few places along S2 from its beginning in the Lake Henshaw basin to Blair Valley, and stopped at a Pectis papposa field in the Mescal Bajada at SR78 that is 0.5 miles west of the junction of SR78 and Mine Wash Road. We also drove a portion of the lowermost Mine Wash Road.
On this trip we saw at least 1,274 plants of 39 species in bloom in the Borrego Desert portion of that survey below 3000 feet (roughly mile 8.5 on S2). A list of those species, sorted by number of plants in bloom, is given below.
Note that Mine Wash Road is now filled with soft sand, and 2 wd cars may get stuck in it. Tom was even worried his AWD Subaru Forester might get stuck if he stopped in some places along the road. The road is impassable for most vehicles at mile 0.8, where two large boulders are now exposed after having the sand that formerly covered them washed downstream.
Pictures from the 2 September 2014 trip are online here. Pictures taken by Nancy Accola and Jim Roberts are in subdirectories under their names; the other pictures were taken by Tom Chester.
Previously, on 12 August 2014 we surveyed S2 from its beginning in the Lake Henshaw basin to Blair Valley, and SR78 from Scissors Crossing to Borrego Springs Road. We saw at least 203 plants of 17 species in bloom in the Borrego Desert portion of that survey below 3000 feet (roughly mile 8.5 on S2). A list of those species, sorted by number of plants in bloom, is given below.
The ocotillos were fully leafed out all the way along our survey route on both 12 August and 2 September, but show no signs that they are going to bloom from this monsoonal rain.
A number of additional species were observed in bloom along S2 from its junction with SR79 to its junction with S22, including Amaranthus fimbriatus; Amaranthus palmeri; both varieties of Lessingia glandulifera; and Chamaesyce serpyllifolia ssp. serpyllifolia.List of plants in bloom on 2 September 2014: # plants in bloom JM2 name 99 Amaranthus fimbriatus 99 Bouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoides 99 Bouteloua barbata var. barbata 99 Chamaesyce albomarginata 99 Ditaxis neomexicana 99 Hoffmannseggia glauca 99 Larrea tridentata 99 Mollugo cerviana 99 Pectis papposa var. papposa 99 Senna armata 50 Datura wrightii 30 Chamaesyce polycarpa 30 Eriogonum gracile var. incultum 30 Isocoma acradenia var. eremophila 20 Heterotheca grandiflora 20 Solanum elaeagnifolium 15 Bebbia juncea var. aspera 15 Senna covesii 10 Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata 10 Cylindropuntia ganderi 10 Hyptis emoryi 10 Stephanomeria exigua ssp. exigua 5 Ditaxis lanceolata 5 Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris 5 Senegalia greggii 5 Sphaeralcea angustifolia 2 Bahiopsis parishii 2 Chamaesyce abramsiana 2 Kallstroemia californica 1 Argemone munita 1 Asclepias erosa 1 Boerhavia coccinea 1 Euphorbia eriantha 1 Ferocactus cylindraceus 1 Psorothamnus schottii 1 Stephanomeria pauciflora 1 Tribulus terrestris List of plants in bloom on 12 August 2014: # plants in bloom JM2 name 99 Croton setigerus 99 Chamaesyce polycarpa 30 Chamaesyce albomarginata 20 Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata 20 Kallstroemia parviflora 5 Asclepias erosa 5 Kallstroemia californica 5 Senna covesii 3 Ditaxis neomexicana 2 Argemone munita 2 Bahiopsis parishii 2 Bebbia juncea var. aspera 2 Bouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoides 2 Bouteloua barbata var. barbata 2 Hoffmannseggia glauca 2 Tiquilia plicata 1 Chamaesyce abramsiana 1 Pectis papposa var. papposa
Copyright © 2008-2014 by Tom Chester, Keir Morse, Kate Harper, Adrienne Ballwey, Jim Roberts, and Nancy Accola.
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Updated 4 September 2014