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Death Valley National Park: Plants

Death Valley Wildflowers

Some years the desert is spectacular with wildflowers; other years the blossoms are almost nonexistent (but never totally absent). A good wildflower year depends on at least three things:

    Well-spaced rainfall through-out the winter and early spring
    Sufficient warmth from the sun
    Lack of desiccating winds
There are over 1000 plant species in Death Valley National Park, including 13 species of cactus and 23 endemics (plants that are known to grow only in the Death Valley region). Most of the "showy" plants are desert annuals, also referred to as ephemerals (short-lived). Colors range from white and yellow to purple, blue, red and bright magenta.

Rain is key

The best time to see a spring floral display is in years when rainfall has been several times the Death Valley annual average of about 1.9 inches. In general, heavy rains in late October with no more rain through the winter months, will not bring out the flowers as well as rains that are evenly-spaced throughout the winter and into the spring.

Peak Blooming Periods for Death Valley are usually...

Mid February to Mid April at lower elevations (valley floor and alluvial fans)
    Best Areas: Jubilee Pass, Highway 190 near the Furnace Creek Inn, base of Daylight Pass
    Dominant species: desert star, blazing star, desert gold, mimulus, encelia, poppies, verbena, evening primrose, phacelia, and various species of cacti (usually above the valley floor).
Early April to Early May at 2,000 to 4,000 ft. elevations
    Best areas: Panamint Mountains
    Dominant species: paintbrush, Mojave desert rue, lupine, Joshua tree, bear poppy, cacti and Panamint daisies.
Late April to Early June above 4,000 ft. elevations
    Best areas: High Panamints
    Dominant species: Mojave wildrose, rabbitbrush, Panamint daisies, mariposa lilies and lupine.
Happy Hunting...
Please remember, you are in a National Park. Regulations prohibit picking of wildflowers so that they may be enjoyed by everyone.

Source - National Park Service

Wildflower Lists

Lesser Mojavea Mohavea breviflora

Wildflower Slideshow
The wildflowers in this slideshow are an up-close look of the details of wildflower ...

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