Tags: death valley | super bloom | flowers | life

Death Valley Super Bloom Springs to Life Thanks to Last Year's Storms

Image: Death Valley Super Bloom Springs to Life Thanks to Last Year's Storms
(Alan Van Valkenburg/National Park Service)

By    |   Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 12:37 PM

Death Valley is experiencing a rare super bloom of 20 species of colorful desert flowers, the after-effects of storms and flash flooding last October, the National Park Service says.

Visitors have long dubbed the occasional flower burst in Death Valley National Park in California — one of the hottest places on Earth — as a "super bloom," according to NPR. A video of the phenomenon posted to the National Park Service's YouTube page has attracted more than 210,000 views.



Death Valley National Parks said in a statement that park averages about two inches of rain per year, making it hard for any plant life to grow and survive.

"The current bloom in Death Valley exceeds anything park staff has seen since 2005," a statement from the park service said. "Some people are calling it a 'super bloom,' which is not an official term."

Park Ranger Alan Van Valkenburg, who has lived in Death Valley for 25 years, said in the statement that he first heard the "super bloom" term back in the 1990s.

"I kept hearing the old timers talk about super blooms as a near mythical thing — the ultimate possibility of what a desert wildflower bloom could be," Van Valkenburg said. "I saw several impressive displays of wildflowers over the years and always wondered how anything could beat them, until I saw my first super bloom in 1998. Then I understood. I never imagined that so much life could exist here in such staggering abundance and intense beauty."

Death Valley National Park spokesman Abby Wines told the Arizona Republic that the flowers will start to wilt and give way to the desert when temperatures reach 100 degrees or more. She said the dry strong winds that whip across the valley could also dry out the flowers.

Wines said that she doesn't know how long the bloom will last but believes the flowers in the valley's higher elevations could stick around until May with the floor-based flowers wilting in early April.

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Death Valley is experiencing a rare super bloom of 20 species of colorful desert flowers, the after-effects of storms and flash flooding last October, the National Park Service says.
death valley, super bloom, flowers, life
332
2016-37-25
Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 12:37 PM
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