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Tampabay.com - Reporting with a camera

All Eyes: Wildflowers burst forth in Death Valley super bloom (w/video)

23

February

Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth, is currently a riot of color: More than 20 kinds of desert wildflowers are in bloom there after record-breaking rains last October.

It’s the best bloom there since 2005, according to Abby Wines, a spokeswoman for Death Valley National Park, and “it just keeps getting better and better.”

The flowers started poking up in November, but the particularly colorful display emerged late last month in the park, which is mainly in California but stretches across the Nevada border. On Twitter and Instagram, park visitors have taken to calling it a “super bloom.”

The park gets about 2 inches of rain annually, so it always sees some wildflowers, though not as many or as varied. But it doesn’t take much more rain than that to completely dye the desert, Wines said, making last fall’s unusually heavy rains particularly effective.

Over the past couple years, as much of California has been in a state of exceptional drought, in Death Valley, where dry is the norm, rainfall has hovered around the average, Wines said.

The National Park Service posted a video to YouTube about the super bloom:

The primary threads in the floral carpet are yellow — the most common flower is called Desert Gold, which looks like a yellow daisy. But there are also strands of purple, pink and white. One of Wines’ favorites is the “Gravel Ghost,” a white flower that appears to float above the ground.

The flowers are expected to stick around until mid-March, unless it gets too hot or windy.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 3:40pm]

    

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