From: "Leo A. Martin" leo1010 at attglobal.net> on 2005.03.05 at 09:58:53(12765)|
This started out as a private response to Pavel O. and Don W. but so
many people have asked me for spring wildflower information I thought
I'd post this to some groups.
We are having one of the best wildflower years ever in Arizona. Many
places in the low desert are now in full bloom.
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix has a wildflower information Web
page and telephone hotline each year with recorded information:
Go to the main site and look down the right for Wildflower InfoSite.
There is extensive information on their wildfower page, including
detailed local reports from park rangers, visitors, and others at parks
and wildflower sites throughout Arizona.
Rain has been widespread and steady in Arizona this season. Some years
some portions of the state are almost entirely bypassed by storms, and
the wildflower show is patchy.
If there was good rain, the wildflowers bloom until they dry up after
about 2 weeks of hot spring weather (in the 90s or higher during the
day.) It can get really hot and dry anytime between mid March and late
May depending on the year.
The state rises in elevation roughly south to north, and the high
country around Flagstaff has flowers several weeks later than Phoenix.
So if you are willing to drive a few hours you have a better chance of
seeing something. Flagstaff (about 7000 feet) is roughly 4 1/2 hours
drive north of Phoenix (1100 feet.) Tucson (2200 feet though 110 miles
south of Phoenix) averages twice the rain in Phoenix (14 inches per year
vs 8 inches), so early displays there are better, and late displays
around Flagstaff are better. That said, Phoenix just since January 1 has
had almost 8 inches of rain.
Those of you interested in palms: note that the display is fantastic at
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, south of Quartzite, just inside the
western Arizona border. This is the site of native Arizona Washingtonia
filifera. One can see palms from the trail up Palm Canyon, and with some
strenuous and steep hiking and scrambling one can visit the palms. Hint:
Once you see the main stand of palms in the side canyon on the north of
the main canyon, don't take the obvious route to the palms; this side
canyon has a steep cliff near the base and you won't be able to get up
this cliff. Take the tiny slot upstream from the cliff. Be careful where
you walk and remember the palms and seedlings are protected.
You can read more about Arizona parks at the official state tourism
site. Go to the sitemap to find what's actually available:
Tourism Office has had a wildlife hotline in the past, listed on the
home page, but it's not there now.