The blooming desert – Arizona wildflowers

Mexican PoppiesLate March and early April is a good time to see wildflowers in the desert of Arizona. It’s hard to predict when wildflower time will be. Wildflowers need a good soaking to show their beautiful flowers. If it rains hard in December you might see lush and showy wildflowers.

Even if Arizona’s winter is dry, you’ll probably be treated to beautiful displays of flowering cacti. Some bloom in the Spring and some in the Summer. The huge Saguaros bloom  in May.

Arizona Wildflower Reports
If you are planning a trip to Arizona and want to know where to find wildflowers, you can search for current information on the Internet:
Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Infosite
Desert USA Wildflower Reports
Paul Santori’s Facebook Page
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson

Arizona Wildflower Hunting Sites
Picacho Peak – Picacho Peak State Park is 60 miles south of Phoenix off I-10.

Spur Cross Ranch in Cave Creek – North of Phoenix are the quaint towns of Carefree and Cave Creek. We often see wildflowers out at Spur Cross Ranch while hiking or riding.Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom

White Tank Mountain Regional Park– You will find the park just west of Phoenix. This desert park is home to some beautiful Arizona wildflowers as well as stands of Saguaro Cacti.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Surrounding Areas– The Arboretum is located at Highway 60 milepost #223 near the town of Superior, 55 miles east of Phoenix.

Desert Botanical Garden– The Desert Botanical Garden, in east Phoenix, usually has a nice spring display of wildflowers along the trails. They also have a spring butterfly display.

The Arboretum at Flagstaff – Located north of Phoenix, Flagstaff is in the high country and has a wildflower season later than in the lower Sonoran desert.

Mammalaria BlossomsWildflower Surprises
Some of my best wildflower-finding experiences have been when I least expected to see any spring color.  Driving the roads of Arizona at just the right time may reward you with roadways lined with bright orange Globe mallow or cheerful yellow brittle bush. A typical roadside wildflower scene consists of blue lupine, Mexican poppies, Globe mallow and brittle bush.

As the weather heats up, you’ll see some amazing sights in the usually soft green and brown desert. Hedgehog cacti may surprise you with brilliant magenta flowers and spindly ocotillo plants will leaf out and produce bright red-orange flowers at their tips.

Photo Credit – Elizabeth R. Rose