"Seasonal spectacle" of wildflowers in southern California  • Earth.com

"Seasonal spectacle" of wildflowers in southern California 

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features wildflowers blooming in the desert region of the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southern California. 

According to NASA, the region’s arid open spaces have been flooded by a ‘seasonal spectacle” of flowers after an unusually wet winter turned into spring.

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles.

During a large bloom of wildflowers in the Carrizo Plain in 2019, the foundation described a typical scene: “There are currents of goldfields (Lasthenia californica) and splashes of blue valley phacelia (Phacelia ciliate) bobbing around in the yellow sea, while the smaller tidy tips (Layia platyglossa) try to find an island of soil not filled with taller flowers.”

“Desert candle (Caulanthus inflatus) can be found sprinkled about as well. The recommended viewing spots for all of this colorful bloom is along Soda Lake Road.”

Superblooms of large wildflowers occur sporadically in southern California, says NASA.

“By tracking online media coverage of wildflower blooms and comparing the reports with rainfall patterns, University of California ecologists counted 10 separate superblooms in the nearby Anza-Borrego Desert over four decades. Nine of the 10 blooms occurred after winters when precipitation was higher than average.”

The image was captured on April 6, 2023 by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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