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590 Palm Canyon Drive







































590 Palm Canyon Drive














Free wildflower maps of the Borrego Valley showing the latest flower locations can be picked up at ABDNHA's Desert Nature Center, 652 Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs.
We also have inexpensive wildflower guides and a comprehensive collection of desert books and guides. ABDNHA (The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association) is a community-based 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization

March 26, 2015

Joy Ziemnick says there is a lot of color at Culp Valley Campground area and along the California Riding Hiking Trail west from parking. area. Goldfields, Nolina, Wooly daisies, Whispering bells, Veatch's blazing star, Hairy? lotus, Apricot Mallow, lots of Chia further up, Wishbone...and more species as well.

Parry's Bear-Grass, Nolina parryi Nolinaceae Joy Ziemnick

March 25, 2015

Fred and Carla from the Grapevine area:   Hiking details
This is our known area for flower fields and they didn't disappoint us. The only bad thing happening is that the mesquite and catclaw are growing back from the 2012 fire. And you are guaranteed to return somewhat black as there is plenty of black stuff out there.


A couple of fields of Fremont's monkeyflower, Mimulus fremontii Our favorite one Wide-throated yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus brevipes. Fields of Fremont pincushion, Chaenactis fremontii And best of all the only field we found anywhere in the park: White Tidy-tips, Layia glandulosa and Scalebud, Anisocoma acaulis.


We where a bit concerned as we didn't see any flowers as we came down the PCT, we where after all still early. But they where just in hiding and as we came closer, there they where!


Fremont's monkeyflower, Mimulus fremontii Fred Melgert

White Tidy-tips, Layia glandulosa Fred Melgert

Little-leaved chaparral beardtongue, Keckiella antirrhinoides var. microphylla Fred Melgert


March 22, 2015

Joy Ziemnick sends this shot of a brilliant indigo bush on the north side of Highway 78, about a mile west of Texas Dip Junction.  She says she has never smelled or seen such a full and fragrant Indigo Bush.  The color is very intense too.

Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii by Joy Ziemnick


March 22, 2015

Culp Valley - Wilson Mountain Loop by Fred and Carla

This time we explored a part of Culp Valley we haven't been before and we ended up far to the east in washes that eventually end up in the Glorietta Canyon.

A nice supprise to still find Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis everywhere, mixed with Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia they make it very yellow. Cleveland's beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii and Parish's purple nightshade, Solanum parishii along boulders. Desert globemallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa are in the thousands, out there, some are already blooming.

We found our first ever Chinese Houses, Collinsia concolor, should be more out there. Veatch's blazing star, Mentzelia veatchiana are hard to miss, they are everywhere It would be a bad hike if we wouldn't find Hairy bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens and we found 8+ and they always grow in the most impossible places. This is Carla's favorite. We where looking for Lemmon's linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii before and found only a few now we found 100+ but only at one particular spot.



Lemmon's linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii Fred Melgert

Virgin's bower, Clematis ligusticifolia Fred Melgert

Woolly Indian paintbrush, Castilleja foliolosa Fred Melgert


March 18, 2015

Sandra Lee Childs send these interesting photos of Wild Cucumber mara macrocarpus var taken near Stewart Spring.  She reports the largest one was five inches long.


March 18, 2015

From Cool Canyon, by Joy Ziemnick.  She reports Chia, Tobacco plant, Checker Fiddleneck, Wishbone, Whispering Bells, lots of Canterbury bluebells, lots of Vetch's blazing star, lots of Palmer's Milkvetch, ground cherry, desert rock pea, Ephedra/desert tea, and at least 1 larger display of wooly indian paintbrush.

Palmers Milkvetch  Joy Ziemnick

Wooly Indian Paintbrush Castilleja foliolosa Joy Ziemnick


March 18, 2015

Fred and Carla send this report: Butler Canyon Hidden Spring Rockhouse Canyon
Hiking Details

We went up Rockhouse Cayon first and then back into Butler Canyon.  That is indeed a recommended loop for those without a GPS. And with the flowers right now it was a real treat, a repeat from most places: we have never seen so many flowers on this hike.


Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata were here, as you can see the seed pods right now. White-lined Sphinx Moth Catepillar have arrived, but Brown-eyed primrose, Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii are still plentiful. Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana , very common right now. Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata are in huge fields especially on the mesa at the end of Butler canyon. 

On our way from the Mesa into Butler canyon we started counting and checking Threadplants, we found two kinds in abundance. Tiny but once you know what to look for rather easy to spot. Purple mat, Nama demissa var. demissa are doing great in Butler canyon, a lot of larger plants. My favorite Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia var. campanularia, we found only one.

It took us 50 minutes more than usual taking pictures, so it turned out another long 5 hour hike. The road up to the trailhead is rocky with deep soft sand, a high clearance 4x4 is essential. And so many I didn't mention


Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii Fred Melgert

Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana Fred Melgert

Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia var. campanularia Fred Melgert


March 17, 2015

We have several reports that the Ocotillos in Coyote Canyon are just spectacular right now.  It's a sea of bright red flowers.  Just south of town, and on the west side of Borrego Springs Road, the "ocotillo forest" is getting ready to pop. 

Ocotillo.  Coyote Canyon by Joy Ziemnick


March 17, 2015

Report from Little Blair Valley loop by Fred & Carla:


We went up where I found a small dry lake on the satellite pictures. And we found Narrow-leaved Globemallow, Sphaeralcea angustifolia right in the middle of that dry pond, hundreds of them, still rather small for now. Another plant that Carla had been trying to find and now we know why we didn't find them. The seem to like more alkaline soil as we found lots more in Little Blair Valley Dry lake.


Not so long ago I thought Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis where rather rare in the park. We found them all over the place including the Pictogram trail up to the Smugglers drop. Along the boulders we found one of the biggest California fish-hook cactus, Mammillaria dioica we've ever seen, huge but in a hard spot to get my camera in. Pringle's Woollysunflower, Eriophyllum pringlei we where missing in our photo collection.
And Carla was probably most pleased with a couple of rather rare Lemmon's Linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii, nice flowers for such a small plant. A honorary plant that is rather faithfull blooming when we check at the pictograph parking Cleveland's beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii.  I don't think nobody even notices it but it's a rather nice bunch of them. And so many others that didn't made it on film but are in Carla's notebook. We will check an area close by in a couple of weeks.  Photos:


 Narrow-leaved Globemallow, Sphaeralcea angustifolia Fred Melgert

Lemmon's Linanthus, Leptosiphon lemmonii Fred Melgert

Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis Fred Melgert


March 16, 2015

Marcy Yates sends us this nice shot taken in Borrego Springs of a honey bee on Indigo Bush


March 15, 2015

Fred and Carla from the Grapevine area:

The area burned down in 2012. What you see right now is that grasses and the invasive Filaree have taken over the area. But some sandy washes remain.

The lovely less common Fremont's Monkeyflower, Mimulus fremontii var. fremontii And the fire follower Wide-throated yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus brevipes Carla's favorite. White sage, Salvia apiana are blooming or are starting to bloom all over. Favorite of the day Cream cups, Platystemon californicus a couple of small fields of them. And the white variation Wallace's woolly daisy, Eriophyllum wallacei var. rubellum Often mistaken for Emory's rockdaisy, Perityle emoryi.

Cream cups, Platystemon californicus Fred Melgert

White sage, Salvia apiana Fred Melgert

March 14, 2015

Fred and Carla send this report from Pena Springs - Hellhole RIdge:

While driving along the Montazuma grade you notice whole fields of the invasive Redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium. Driving up to the Pena Springs you see nice fields of Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis mixed with Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia. Notice the yellow Yellow pincushion, Chaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula. You will see plenty of Chia, Salvia columbariae. And Common fiddleneck, Amsinckia intermedia and the similar looking Bristly fiddleneck, Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata Carla's favorite  Hairy bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens, look for them around boulders.

And as everything is early so are the Blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum Pleased to see yet another poppy, the prettiest one of them all California poppy, Eschscholzia californica Whole fields of Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia At the end of the trip my camera turned a shade of yellow from all the flowers.


Redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium Fred Melgert

 Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia Fred Melgert

California poppy, Eschscholzia californica Fred Melgert

Hairy bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens Fred Melgert

March 13, 2015

Cindy Knoke sends some shots of wildflowers north of Henderson road and she says "I cound not believe the Ocotillos.  I have been coming to Anza for 50+ years.  I love the place. Love your organization & thank you for what you do! "


Desert Sunflower and Pollinator   Cindy Knoke

A Globe Mallow  Cindy Knoke


March 12, 2015

Henderson Canyon Field by Joy Ziemnick


March 12, 2015

Palo Verde Wash

Fred and Carla say the Blue Palo Verde are now blooming in the wild and they send some other great photos as well.

Blue palo verde, Parkinsonia florida  Fred Melgert

Notch-leaved Phacelia, Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua Fred Melgert

Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens Fred Melgert


March 12, 2015

A photo of Lower Smuggler's Canyon by Bill Sullivan


March 12, 2015

Some beautiful flower pictures, all taken by Joy Ziemnick,  from Yaqui Meadows on the edge of Borrego Springs. Octillo, Barrel Cactus, Desert  Agave.




March 11, 2015

Report from Fred and Carla on Mine Wash East Fork Loop

Hiking details here

This looked a promising hike in December, so we went back.  The flower density in Mine wash is much less than what you see around the visitor center.  We got little indication that the last rain triggered any new growth. 

This is the elevation for Goldfields and we've seen them in Culp Valley. The mine wash is a known area for them, so I hoped we would find some.  Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis fields in a couple of places, been a while to see them in the Mine wash area. 

Black brush, Coleogyne ramosissima is as the name indicates black and looks dead, except right now when it is turning yellow with nice flowers. 

Another plant that Carla was looking for these last weeks, Spearleaf, Matelea parvifolia, we just stumbled upon one in the middle of the wash,  My favorite for today, but it's hard to choose: Desert tea, Ephedra californica.

California groundsel, Senecio californicus Fred Melgert

Goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis  Fred Melgert

Desert tea, Ephedra californica Fred Melgert


March 11

Henderson Canyon Road

From Fred and Carla:  We checked Henderson Cy Road: Brown-eyed primrose mostly if not all gone, eaten? Dune Primroses/ Sand sabena between the airport and the Henderson Cy Road crossing (North) (Pegleg road), you can easily spot them from the road. When you exit on Henderson Cy Road, a nice patch of Lupine next to the road, close the the Pegleg monument. More in the middle of Henderson Cy Road great sunflower fields. Now on the other side of the road as well, but that's harder to see as the sunflowers turn towards the sun. Still nice fields of Dune Primroses, but less than a week ago.


March 10, 2015

Report from Karyn

If you have not been out to Henderson Canyon Road, about a mile east of Borrego Valley Road---wait no longer, drop what you are doing if you are in town and go there in the early morning when the light is low, and the air is cool and fresh.  The sunflowers are smiling, dune evening primrose petals are dancing and the scent of lilies can cause delirium.   

Sand dunes ripple from gentle winds in the night.  Fat and sassy white-lined sphinx moth cats wiggling their way up the dunes looking for the perfect spot to scrape out a 'den' to pupate.  And then there are the ravens and hawks along Borrego Springs Road in old Ag fields eating breakfast of them before they get a chance!    

The desert is alive. Get out and enjoy. Go dance with the flowers....why are you still reading this? Get outside!



March 7, 2015

Glorieta Canyon Loop

From Fred and Carla.  It's been 5 years that we hike this particular loop. What you notice is fields Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii in the sandy Glorietta wash all the way to town. Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris are especially good right now, they where blooming all over the place and with the right most spectacular color. Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa is almost common this year, whole fields of them.


The hike we took isn't a casual hike, 8.2 miles in total lengthm but if you hike it from the start up to the boulders you should find most of the flowers we've seen. See Hiking information


Veatch's blazing star, Mentzelia veatchiana Fred Melgert

Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris Fred Melgert

Spiny senna, Senna armata  Fred Melgert

Hairy Blazingstar, Mentzelia hirsutissima Fred Melgert



March 5, 2015

North of the Visitor Center to Flatcat Canyon

This report comes from Ferd, Carla, and Bill  Fred Says ...We went out for a quick hike North of the Visitor Center, up to Flatcat Canyon. First to be found, the tiny easy to miss, Desert Calico, Loeseliastrum matthewsii, I had to make a better picture than the one I made at the Visitor Center. Hard to get everything in focus, I went for manual focus and just shot a couple of them. Second we where on the lookout for Pebble pincushion, Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia the reason we missed it all the time, It's the less attractive pincushion. Carla looked at hundreds of plant the last weeks to find this pincushion. Now that you know what to look for it's actually easy to ID. Also a difficult one to get a good picture from. It's simply to bright white, I think this one worked pretty well. We ran across some aggressive Hyles lineata caterpillar, one tried to pull the plant right of the ground. They are bigger and stronger right now. I saw one attacked by a fly and it desperately tried to defend itself. Bill pointed us to an interesting plant: Desert Threadplant, Nemacladus rubescens We found an other tiny plant with an even smaller flower we thought we found the right one, but it turned out a desert trumpet, so small. But we found the right one meter away. The plant is tiny and very easy to miss, lets say almost impossible to find if you don't know how it looks in real live, but in close up the flowers are wonderful.


Starting top left

Desert Calico, Loeseliastrum matthewsii

Short-bannered coastal lotus, Acmispon maritimus var. brevivexillus

Hyles lineata caterpillar

Second Row starting top left

Desert Threadplant, Nemacladus rubescens

Pebble pincushion, Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia

Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii

All photos by Fred Melgert


March 3, 2015

Report by Fred and Carla from the Torote Canyon Loop.  View Hike details

The cacti are early this year, normally need to wait for the end of March or early April. The Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris wow what a color.  There are two flowers that people mix up right now, maybe because we haven't seen both of them at the same time for a while. Similar: Sand Blazing Star, Mentzelia involucrata and Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora. The easy way to id is look for the coloring, the Ghost flower has a distinct coloring. 


This is my favourite of the day: Star gilia, Gilia stellata All in all a nice collection of flowers, could hardly be any better. The fields of Wallace's woolly daisy, Eriophyllum wallacei and Bigelow's monkeyflower, Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii will certainly grow.

Star gilia, Gilia stellata Fred Melgert

Sand Blazing Star, Mentzelia involucrata Fred Melgert

Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora Fred Melgert

Arizona lupine, Lupinus arizonicus Fred Melgert

Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris Fred Melgert


March 2, 2015

Ioana sent some nice photos of the bloom along Henderson Canyon Road taken this past Sunday.  She says this was her first trip to Anza-Borrego and she will be back.

North side of Henderson Canyon Road   Photo by Ioana Anghel


March 1, 2015

Birth of an Ocotillo. 

by Fred and Carla

Most of the time ocotillos catch our attention when they are mature plants six to ten feet tall with a dozen or more branches. These are amazing plants that can produce leaves to full size in just three days.  When the soil dries these leaves turn into spines.  The flowers of the Ocotillo are crucial for migrating Hummingbirds.  They are very rarely photographed as young plants when they are just emerging from the ground, but Fred and Carla send the following pictures taken today in Henderson Canyon. 

Very young ocotillo Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens by Carla Hoegen

The leaves on this young ocotillo will turn to spines as conditions driy out. by Carla Hoegen



February 28, 2015

Report by Fred and Carla :  "We checked out the upper part of the Jasper trail, not much going on there yet. So from there we started a hike.  That was not the best idea today because it was early, windy and cold. But nice flowers nevertheless. Huge bushes of Parish's purple nightshade, Solanum parishii, A lot of Woolly Indian paintbrush, Castilleja foliolosa,  Cleveland's beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii,  a lot of them around the springs and they do love boulders. A huge White sage, Salvia apiana at a springs. This time the yellow was mostly from Narrowleaf goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia perfect in bloom."


The flower below is one of Fred's favorite from the day.  He says "Notice the outer white flowers, every single one is a flower. Of course the inside has its individual flowers. A lot of the members of the huge aster family have these individual flowers but this on shows them very well."


White tidy-tips, Layia glandulosa Fred Melgert



February 27, 2015

Bill Sullivan says that the red tassels of Ocotillo are starting to nicely appear in Ocotillo Flat and, to a lesser extent, in Desert Gardens to the south. Ocotillo is a broad alluvial fan that extends from the wash at the north end of Desert Gardens, where the Coyote Canyon jeep trail turns across the valley, to the top of the Borrego Valley below Third Crossing.


February 25, 2015

The race is on!
by Mike McElhatton

It's not easy living in a desert environment where water and food are almost always in short supply.  The wildflowers that are bringing visitors to the desert right now are mostly desert annual plants.  They have evolved over time to germinate only when there is enough moisture in the soil so they can quickly grow, flower, and produce seeds.  Those seeds will then wait in the ground, perhaps for years, until there is enough moisture once again for them to start the cycle all over again. This adaptation leads to a very short lifespan for an individual plant, a couple of weeks perhaps,  but tens of thousands of years of existence for the species.


But in nature, it does not go unnoticed that all of those springtime plants are also a good source of food.  The creatures that can rapidly swing into action to take advantage of that food are the creatures that will prosper over time.  Enter the White-lined Sphinx Moth.  White-lined Sphinx moths, also called Hummingbird moths,  emerge from the ground and lay their eggs, thousands of them, on the leaves of the emerging plants.  When the food is there, as it is right now, the sphinx moth caterpillars eat constantly and grow fast, and it is incredible to see how many caterpillars can quickly mobilize to take advantage of the food source.  They are an army on the move.  Thousands of brightly colored Sphinx moth larvae can now be found in certain areas, devouring plants as rapidly as they can.  Their goal is to eat, grow fast, burrow into the ground where they pupate and emerge as moths, and then lay their eggs on the leaves of plants, to start the cycle all over again.


So the race is on right now.  It is the plants vs the caterpillars.  The people who love the wildflowers don't like to see that army of caterpillars chomping away, but to the caterpillars it is just one big feast.  


To the birds, of course, the caterpillars look like lunch.  But so far the birds are not around in sufficient numbers to make an impact and the flowers are getting a serious muching, with some areas of flowers getting wiped out by the caterpillars. 


White-Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar , Hyles lineata    Photo by Joy Ziemnick

February 25, 2015

Fred and Carla send these beautiful photos of Desert five-spot that they found in the Sweeney Pass South Canyon area

Desert five-spot, Eremalche rotundifolia Fred Melgert

Desert five-spot, Eremalche rotundifolia Fred Melgert


February 23, 2015

Hellhole Canyon by Fred and Carla:

We hiked Hellhole Canyon up to the first palms, back along the wash, keeping north, and checked Flatcat Canyon. Desert dandelion fields are everywhere mixed with Pincushion, the latter are less visible but there are lots of them. Still plenty of Brown-eyed primrose and fields of Wallace's woolly daisy closer to Flatcat canyon. Small fields of Bigelow's monkeyflower, mostly concentrated before scrubs. It was not sunny or warm enough this morning for the Poppy to open.

Bigelow's monkeyflower, Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii Fred Melgert

Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata Fred Melgert

Wallace's woolly daisy, Eriophyllum wallacei var. wallacei Fred Melgert


February 22, 2015

Henderson Canyon, some new photos taken this afternoon by Fred Melgert.

Desert Lily, Sand Verbena in the background   Henderson Canyon Fred Melgert.

Dune Sunflower, Helianthus petiolaris
Henderson Canyon - Photo by Fred Melgert

Henderson Canyon - Photo by Fred Melgert


February 21, 2015

Joy Ziemnick reports many blooming and about-to-bloom yuccas ( Our Lord's Candle) in the vicinity of the Smugglers Cove and Pictograph trails.

Mohave Yucca (Yucca schidigera)   Joy Ziemnick

Joy also sends this photo of a California Patch butterfly on desert lavendar ( Rainbow Canyon)


February 21, 2015

Tom Chester has compiled a list of 79 species found in bloom at the State Park Visitor Center on February 21  See full list on Tom's website


February 20, 2015

Report from Henderson Canyon by Fred and Carla.   

Flowers are good at the start of the Henderson Canyon, the sculptures make it more like a maze to find the right route by car. The road is rocky, so may not be OK for all cars all the way. The first part of the hike is more or less on a marked hiking trail, so easy. But you should explore some rocky areas as the flowers tend to be there and NOT in the wash.

The right hand side of the canyon seem to be the best flower wise. Brown-eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii from the start, but they are winding down (end of bloom) and vanish further on in the canyon. Common phacelia, Phacelia distans  are in abundant numbers. Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana in large numbers, almost as frequent as the fields of Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata. A good number of Bigelow's monkeyflower, Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii, some already big. 

When I hardly recognized Creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, so yellow, I knew the canyon would be fine. We've seen healthy Wishbone plant, Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa in numerous washes, but here they where in full bloom. Carla's goal was to find Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia var. campanularia and we found a handful;  this isn't their habitat, but they are pretty. Last time we forgot to take a picture, because we've seen whole fields in Joshua tree. Not to forget nice fields of poppy's. And finally Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora again, we encountered then in fish creek in November last year. And also spectacular Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii.

Henderson Canyon Photos: 
All taken in Henderson Canyon  Feb 20, 2015 by Fred Melgert
California suncup, Eulobus californicus Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana
Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia var. campanularia Bigelow's monkeyflower, Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii California trixis, Trixis californica var. californica
Chuparosa, Justicia californica Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora California fagonia, Fagonia laevis
Desert star, Monoptilon bellioides Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii Beavertail cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris


February 20, 2015

Rainbow Canyon & Ocotillo Flat by Bill Sullivan

Heading into Borrego Springs from the south, Bill made a stop in Rainbow Canyon.  He says it would be worthwhile to get someone to make weekly visits down there. The list of plants collected there over the years is quite extensive. It's a small area that starts right beside the road (on either side of the road, to be exact) and it is no more than half a mile to the dry waterfall that halts all but the adventurous. In other words, it should be made to order for those who want to botanize by the side of the road.   On this visit, he looked across the road and found a Desert Wishbone Bush with pink flowers instead of the usual white. A week earlier, he found Arizona Fiesta Flower which the California Native Plant Society classifies as one of the rare, threatened, or endangered plants in California.  


On February 19 (Thursday), Bill visited Ocotillo Flat for a quick look. He says this area is usually the last area in the valley to flower. A new plant in flower he found in flower this year was Desert Star (the Belly flower). He was also happy to see the flowers on a Fish Hook cactus still looking good. The Beavertail Cactus was starting to flower here, as it is elsewhere. Weekly visits to Ocotillo Flat would alson be good, Bill suggests.

Mirabilis laevis - Desert Wishbone Bush by Bill Sullivan

Monoptilon bellioides - Desert Star By Bill Sullivan


February 17, 2015

Some very nice photos of desert lilies and Spanish Needles taken today in the area north of DeGiorgio Road by Joy  Ziemnick. These great shots show the fascinating details of this beautiful plant.  Joy and Jim Ziemnick are ABDNHA members from the U.P. of Michigan who like to break away in  winter from everything that the U.P. is and spend some quality time taking pictures in Borrego.  Nice shots.  We look forward to more while you are visiting us.

Desert Lily, Hesperocallis undulata Joy Ziemnick

Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata Joy Ziemnick

Spanish Needles, Palafoxia arida var. arida    Joy Ziemnick


February 17, 2015

Some nice shots taken in Henderson Canyon by Joy Ziemnick

Blue Phacelia/ Wild Heliotrope  Phacelia distans Joy Ziemnick

Blue Phacelia/ Wild Heliotrope  Phacelia distans Joy Ziemnick


February 17, 2015

We have a report from Little Surprise Canyon today by Fred and Carla.  They report lots of interesting flowers to be found and it is an easy walk, right off of the Hellhole parking area. This area has individual  plants, no widespread blooms such as found at the entrance to Coyote Canyon.  Nevertheless, Fred sends some very nice closeups, and they are displayed in the collage below.

Clockwise from top left, Trailing Windmills, Allionia incarnata var. incarnata , Yellow blazing star, Mentzelia affinis, Desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomexicana, California fish-hook cactus, Mammillaria dioica, California fagonia, Fagonia laevis, Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii, Photos by Fred Melgert.


February 15, 2015

Photos sent to us today by Fred Melgert from the north end of DiGiorgio Road, at the entrance of Coyote Canyon.  2/17 Fred provides this update:  From the end of Di Giorgio Road walk up to the end of the Citrus farm (on your left), keep more or less along the Citrus farm towards First Crossing / Horse Camp. Walk for max 1/2 an hour. At first it doesn't look too good, but after a while there are Bigger Dune primrose, Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides than we found on the other side of the road. Desert-willow, Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata already in bloom close to first crossing. Also best to visit the morning as many flowers close later in the day.

Dune primrose, Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides , Desert sand-verbena, Abronia villosa var. villosa , and Brown-eyed primrose, Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii

Gray desert sunflower, Helianthus petiolaris ssp. canescens   Fred Melgert

 Dune primrose, Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides Fred Melgert


Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata Fred Melgert


February 13, 2015

Juergen Schrenk sends us this photo taken in Coyote Canyon.
Photo was taken on February 11, 2015

February 13, 2015

Today's report from Fred and Carla comes from Layer Cake Wash.  See hiking details.

Fred reports a very healthy collection of Brown-eyed primrose, Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii,  a large collection of Desert tobacco in the middle of the Fish Creek Wash, which is an unusual place as they tend to seek out the shade. Also, some blooming Parish's Goldeneye, Bahiopsis parishii. Salton milk-vetch, and Astragalus crotalariae that are close to the end of their blooming cycle, they where in bloom in Fish Creek since December.

Heartleaf sun-cup, Chylismia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla  Fred Melgert

Emory's rock-daisy, Perityle emoryi Fred Melgert


And, although this photo has nothing to do with flowers, the photo below is interesting enough to post here.  It appears to be a strange collection of concretions.


February 12, 2015

From Bill Sullivan:  The 2015 Spring annual wildflowers show is definitely underway with eye-popping displays along the Coyote Canyon jeep trail (actually, any car can drive it) from the north end of diGiorgio Road to Desert Gardens (beyond which the driving becomes more of a problem).  

Right now, the star of the show is Peirson's Brown-eyed Primrose (Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii), a white flower sometimes with a little pink in the Borrego Valley, yellow in the southern desert. It's safe to say that thousands of these plants can be seen over a 4-mile stretch.  

In the lower part, in the northern reaches of Borrego Valley, the flowers are joined by such favorites as Sand Verbena (Abronia villosa), Dune Primrose (Oenothera deltoides), and Arizona Lupine. Bladder Pod (Dithyrea californica), reported in flower on January 30, is now showing its namesake seedpods as well as flowers.  

In Desert Gardens, the Brown-eyed Primrose plants are joined by a cousin, California Evening Primrose (Camissonia californica) in numbers too large to count. Also noted in Desert Gardens were Forget-Me-Nots (Cryptantha angustifolia), Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), and Desert Chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana).

Photo by Bill Sullivan

Photo by Bill Sullivan


February 9, 2015

Fred and Carla spent a short time hiking in the Borrego Badlands today, where most everything looked pretty dry.  And then they came across this....

Desert trumpet, Eriogonum inflatum  Photo by Fred Melgert


After little time in the badlands they headed over into Hawk Canyon and they say that area looks promising for flowers.


February 8, 2015

We had a report today of an area with a nice assortment of flowers in Henderson Canyon, not the Henderson Canyon Road but the actual canyon, on the west side of Borrego.  Flowers seen there included Desert Lavender, Desert Dandelion, Chuparosa, Brittlebush, Monkey Flower, Brown-eyed Evening Primrose, Little Gold Poppy, Gold Poppy, and Lupine.


A later drive around the Borrego Valley revealed that the junction of Big Horn and Borrego Springs road, just a short distance norht of Christmas Circle, has a variety of plants germinating and looks to be another promising area in the weeks ahead.  .



February 8, 2015

Fred and Carla hiked up the Hellhole Canyon fork along Pena Spring.  Not a casual hike, they say, and knowing how they hike that means it's a hard hike, but they say it is very interesting because it crosses a couple of different climate zones.   The hike route is here.  As usual, they send some great photos.

Wild-cucumber, Marah macrocarpa, close to the Pena Springs parking area. Fred Melgert

They also report lots of Desert Apricot in bloom, Oak gooseberry, white flowering current, some filaree, nice manzanita in bloom at the higher elevations, lutebush, and a few small flowered poppies, Eschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflora, shown below.


February 5, 2015

We have this report today from Bill Sullivan: Today the plant seen with the most flowers along Henderson Canyon Road is Baileya pauciradiata, commonly as Colorado Desert Marigold or Laxflower. A member of the Sunflower family (Asteraceae), those seen here are bushy with multiple stems to 18 inches tall. The stems are green, some blue-green. The ray flowers are pale yellow.

Also noticed for the first time in this location this year were three healthy-looking Desert Sand Verbena flowers (Abronia villosa). Sand Verbena is a ground-hugging vine with pink and white flowers and sticky hairs that pick up the sand that Sand Verbena thrives in. Its other name is Hairy Sand Verbena.

We saw these and hundreds of plants ready to flower, including about two dozen Desert Lilies (Hesperocallis undulta), several of them in bud, about 70 yards north of Henderson Canyon Road and 125 yards west of Coyote Mountain. This a bit east of where flowers have been seen in this big basin in past years.

Meanwhile, along the Coyote Canyon Jeep Trail, from the end of DiGiorgio Road to Desert Gardens, the numbers of Spectacle Pod and Peirson's Evening Primrose have picked up. A few Desert Sand Verbena plants are in flower.


Desert Lily  Hesperocallis undulata  Bill Sullivan


Colorado Desert Marigold Baileya pauciradiata Bill Sullivan


February 5, 2015

Fred and Carla went into Bighorn Canyon today to look for some Bush Milkvetch they had found there last year.  Having found none, they went into another fork where they found several plants.  Photos below, as well as an interesting close-up of Ocotillo.

Closeup of Ocotillo just leafing out, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens  Fred Melgert


Bush Milkvetch, Astragalus pachypus var. pachypus Fred Melgert

Palmer's milkvetch, Astragalus palmeri


February 2, 2015

Fred and Carla were recently in Coyote Canyon and they report both Spectacle-pod and some sand verbena.  Sand Verbena may be one of the most common plants to be found in the Borrego valley but it certainly is also one of the most brilliant.

Fred was biking a part of this trip, so his hiking info is actually biking info this time around.

Desert Sand Verbena, Abronia villosa var. villosa  Fred Melgert

Another common but beautiful flower,  Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa Fred Melgert


And a very large Bladderpod  Peritoma arborea Fred Melgert

Asian Mustard, Brassica tournefortii  Fred Melgert


January 30, 2015

Bill Sullivan reports he has seen his first annuals of the season, about 25 Spectacle Pods  (Dithyrea californica) beside the Coyote Canyon Jeep Trail, an easy walk just north of the DiGiorgio Road.  This is always a popular place to look for flowers as people can park on the blacktop and take a short walk into the canyon. 


From Bill's camp at Desert Gardens, a little futher into the canyon, he was up with first light looking for flowers.  The pictures below show a bit of what he found.


Brown-eyed Primrose, Camissonia claviformis ssp. Piersonii.   Bill Sullivan


Trailing Windmills  Allionia incarnata   Bill Sullivan

Spectacle Pods  Dithyrea californica Bill Sullivan

Pale Yellow Sun Cup Camissoniopsis pallida  Bill Sullivan


January 27, 2015

Fred Melgert reports that desert lilies are beginning to bloom along Henderson Canyon Road, mostly between S-22 and Borrego Valley Road.  He says that only a few are in bloom now but that this area looks very promising for wide spread bloom of lilies in a few weeks or so.


Also... Rain this week increases the chance that this will be the best flower year out of the past several. We have had several reports that there is a lot of plant germination in the Borrego Valley.  Plants are just beginning to be seen poking through the ground.  That bodes well for flowers in another few weeks.

Desert Lily  Photo by Fred Melgert

Another desert lily - this one not yet in bloom.  Photo by Fred Melgert.

January 21, 2015

Fred and Carla send these interesting shots from today on Thimble Peak, ashy silk tassel and a close shot of a pollinating bee.  Hiking information here.

Ashy silk tassel, Garrya flavescens Fred Melgert

Ashy silk tassel, Garrya flavescens with bee pollinating Fred Melgert


January 20, 2015

Palm Canyon Trail

Marcy Yates says pretty colors are starting to appear along Borrego Palm Canyon trail -- huge bushes of red chuparosa flowers, tall stands of desert lavender, and a few bright yellow brittlebush flowers.  There were some very happy bees buzzing around the flowers.  Lots of green plants hint at the possibility of more flowers to come.  It may be a good year for phacelia and rock daisies in this area. As of this morning (1/20), running water flowed over the small waterfalls near the first palm grove and almost to the trail crossing at the wash.


Note: We have had several reports saying there is more water flowing in Palm Canyon now than in recent years.  So it would be a good time to take that hike.

Photo by Marcy Yates

Photo by Marcy Yates

Photo by Marcy Yate


January 19, 2015

Culp Valley

Fred and Carla send us the first shot of desert apricot this year, from Culp Valley.

Hiking information here

 Desert apricot, Prunus fremontii Fred Melgert


January 17, 2015

Domelands East

Today Fred and Carla explored the visually strinking Domelands area, south of Anza-Borrego, where they headed into the less visited eastern part.   Some of their flower shots are shown below.  Hiking information here.

Rose mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea Fred Melgert

Hoffmannseggia, Caesalpinia virgata  Fred Melgert

Heartleaf sun-cup, Camissonia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla Fred Melgert

Remains of ancient shells, from a time when this area was covered by a shallow sea.

Photo by Fred Melgert


January 16, 2015

Palm Canyon

Cyclists hate this plant.  But what's pretty is pretty and even 'bad plants' can have nice flowers. This is also very small flower; take notice of the grains of sand at the bottom.

Puncture-vine, Tribulus terrestris Fred Melgert

Plus this one from Palm Canyon: Rock crossosoma, Crossosoma bigelovii  Fred Melgert


January 12, 2015

Yaqui Meadows Loop

Everyone is waiting to see if conditions will be right for a good bloom of flowers this spring.  In the meanwhile Fred and Carla are out exploring on a regular basis and they are finding flowers on just about all of their trips, not the desert floor carpeted in flowers, but beautiful flowers tucked away in canyons and washes where there has been enough moisture to sustain them.


This trip was to Sweeney Pass South Canyon, in the south part of Anza-Borrego, where they found this very large desert tobacco plant, along with other species, such as Newberry's velvet mallow, ground cherry, desert lavender, along with a nice bloom of brittlebush.  HIking details here.

Desert tobacco, Nicotiana obtusifolia by Fred Melgert

January 6, 2015

Sweeney Pass South Canyon

A beautiful barrel cactus photo by Fred Melgert taken on Yaqui Ridge today.

Hike details here.

January 4, 2015

Yaqui Meadows Loop

Fred and Carla send some beautiful flower pictures from this nice loop east of Glorieta Canyon.  We are all waiting to see what the rain will produce, but in the meanwhile Fred and Carla continue to find beautiful flowers and send us beautiful pictures.  Hiking details here.

Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa  Photo by Fred Melgert

Paperbag Bush / Mexican Bladder Sage, Scutellaria mexicana Photo by Fred Melgert


December 31, 2014

Snow in Culp Valley

It did not snow in the Borrego Valley but Fred and Carla found plenty of snow not very far away, in the Culp Valley, and they send us these pictures of snow-covered cholla and yucca





December 16, 2014

Birth of a Smoketree

Fred Melgert sends this excellent photo of the birth of a smoketree.  Smoketree seeds will only germinate after being tossed about in a flood, which removes a protective layer on the seed.  In this photo you see not only the young tree but also evidence of the flood that took place with the cracked plates of mud, that have since dried in the sun. 

You can click the image above to download Fred's original full size image, which shows more detail and perspective.


December 16, 2014

Oyster Wash, From Fred and Carla 

Trailing windmills, Allionia incarnata by Fred Melgert

Fremont's Desert Thorn, Lycium fremontii by Fred Melgert


December 15, 2014

From Fred and Carla on the Thimble Trail Loop.  Hiking Details Here  They say they saw the best Asters so far this season, some nice desert holly, and once in a while, a Creosote in bloom  They also report the first blooming Silky dalea that they have ever encountered.

Silky dalea, Dalea mollis Photo by Fred Melgert

Chinch-weed, Pectis papposa var. papposa Photo by Fred Melgert

Alkali goldenbush, Isocoma acradenia var. acradenia Photo by Fred Melgert


December 9, 2014

Fred and Carla send these photos from the Domelands area in the south part of Anza-Borrego.

View Hiking Details


Rosy apricot mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea Photo by Fred Melgert

Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens Photo by Fred Melgert

White-stemmed milkweed, Asclepias albicans Photo by Fred Melgert

Nevada indigo-bush, Psorothamnus polydenius Photo by Fred Melgert


December 1, 2014

Fred Melget sends these great flower shots from the Elephant Knees in the southern part of Anza-Borrego.

Sticky fagonia, Fagonia pachyacantha by Fred Melgert

Wire-lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora Photo by Fred Melgert



November 29, 2014

Fred and Carla this report from the north fork of arroyo salada loop. where they braved what they called an "artificial dust storm" from the thousands of off-roaders at Ocotillo Wells SVRA over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii by Fred Melgert

Palmer's crinklemat, Tiquilia palmeri by Fred Melgert

Pima rhatany, Krameria erecta by Fred Melgert


November 27, 2014

Fred and Carla send us some nice flower shots taken along the Jasper Trail.

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Sapphire woolly-star, Eriastrum sapphirinum ssp. sapphirinum  by Fred Melgert

Slender wreathplant, Stephanomeria exigua ssp. exigua by Fred Melgert


November 15, 2014

Joy Ziemnick sends us this great photo of a queen butterfly taken along Fish Creek.

Very nice photo!


Boundary Goldenbush Ericameria brachylepis  Photo by Joy Ziemnick


November 15, 2014

Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen checked out the Lizard Wash - Chuckwalla Loop hike they are doing for ABDNHA on January 3 and, as usual, they have found flowers!  Welcome back to Borrego!  Here are some pictures from their hike.  Note that Fred has developed an app for Anza Borrego Hiking that is based on the information on his website.  The app is available for free in the Google Play Store.


Wand Sage, Salvia vaseyi  Great find Carla!    Photo by Fred Melgert


Second shot of Wand Sage Photo by Fred Melgert

Third shot of wand sage  Photo by Fred Melgert

Trailing Windmills, Allionia incarnata var. incarnata Photo by Fred Melgert

Parish's Goldeneyes   Bahiopsis parishii  Photo by Fred Melgert


November 14, 2014

We had two submissions from Glorietta Canyon today.....

First, Joy Ziemnick sends us a couple of great shots of Bighorn Sheep that they saw on a ridge at the top. 


Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Photo by Joy Ziemnick


...and a photo from Fred Melgert.  Fred and Carla report spurges everywhere, at least four different species, and the flowers are very tiny, male and female flowers on the same plant.

Red-gland spurge, Chamaesyce melanadenia Photo by Fred Melgert




November 11, 2014

ABDNHA members Joy and Jim ziemnick, here for a short time from the cold and snowy UP of Michigan, send us some beautiful photos taken over the past couple of days.

A Chuparosa near Mine Wash  Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Coyote Melons off of the Jasper Trail Road     Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Sand Verbena, Henderson Canyon Road     Photo by Joy Ziemnick

A hummer taking a break in Plum Canyon      Photo by Joy Ziemnick

August 17, 2014

Summer color around Borrego Springs following a major rainstorm two weeks ago. Sulphur butterflies (shown) and Tiny Checkerspots (not shown) sip nectar from blooms of red Fairy Duster and ornamental Texas Ranger (shown in various shades of purple). Orange blooming Mexican Bird of Paradise contrasts with the desert's bright blue sky. Native Ocotillos are in full green leaf across the Borrego Valley.

Texas Ranger with Orange sulpher butterfly - Marcy Yates

Texas Ranger in full bloom. Note color variation in flower color between this dark purple and the lavender. This plant attracted more bees than butterflies. Leucophyllum frutescens is an evergreen shrub in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, native to the state of Texas. — at Borrego Springs, CA  Betsy Knaak

Fairy Duster in bloom, August 16, 2014. — at Borrego Springs, CA. Betsy Knaak

Two weeks after a storm that dropped 3 inches of rain, the Ocotillo throughout the Borrego Valley responded with full leaf, casting a haze of green across the desert.  ....a haven of shade — at Borrego Springs, CA.  Betsy Knaak

Mexican Bird of Paradise in full bloom two weeks after major rain storm of early August. Note blooming Agave on right. — at Borrego Springs, CA.  Betsy Knaak.

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