Death Valley is in full bloom!
In the past winter, Death Valley has gotten as much or more rain as it normally does in a whole year. Even so, it isn't what many people would call a lot of rain, just 3 or 4 inches. This year's El Nino like weather helped all of the wildflower seeds sprout, and now they are in full bloom! Most of the flowers are in the southern part of the park, where many of the seeds were deposited from the last big bloom in 2005.
We went to see the wildflower bloom and took a lot of pictures of the individual flowers that we found blooming. As we drove further south, the alluvial fans began to turn bright yellow, covered with the most dominant wildflower, Desert Gold. I am including pictures of the flowers we saw and their common name.
Brown Eyed Evening Primrose
The Brown Eyed Evening Primrose blooms only at night. At dusk, the flower begins to open, and by early morning, when the sun hits it, the petals shrivel up and fall off. The best time to see them in during sunset.
Desert Gold Poppy
Golden Evening Primrose
Goldcarpet is a rare Death Valley endemic plant. It only grows near the badlands by Furnace Creek. Its extremely tiny and its more like ground cover instead of a flower. I swear I also saw the same plant, except the tiny flowers were white in the southern part of the park growing in a wash. I wonder if its a different plant or not. I didn't take a picture!
Joshua Tree Bloom
The Joshua Tree bloom really smells gross, like old cheese.
The Toothed Dodder is a parasitic orange vine that grows on top of host plants. I'm not sure if it ends up killing them, but when I touched the vine, it was very moist and plump, so I'm sure it steals a good deal of the host plant's water.