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A velvety orange blanket of California poppies has covered the Gavilan Hills around Lake Elsinore, Calif., the past two weeks.
And this week, in Anza Borrego Desert State Park east of San Diego, a tapestry of flowers reached full crescendo with purple Sand Verbena, delicate white and yellow Evening Primrose and desert lilies popping up.
The so-called superblooms, a colloquial term describing wildflower spectacles that exceed a typical season, are attracting thousands upon thousands of people to these pockets in the southern part of the state. Photos of the eye-popping color carpeting valleys and mountains are flooding social media, stirring up excitement around Mother Nature’s show.
Many are wondering, where will the next wildflower explosion occur?
Botanists can’t predict exactly where, but they do know there are likely to be several other spectacular wildflower displays in coming weeks due to a winter season marked by above-average rainfall.
Those hoping to see the biggest blooms should look to Southern California. The desert landscape has fewer invasive plants and grasses that push out wildflowers. Superblooms don’t usually happen in Northern California where invasive grasses thrive in the wetter climate and drown out the natives.
Below is a list of places to track culled from Desert USA and California State Parks. Most of these places post flower updates and alert visitors when the bloom is beginning to start so you can make travel plans. But sometimes to catch the best spectacles, you just have to get in your car and go.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Lancaster (70 miles southeast of Bakersfield)
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs (80 miles east of San Diego)
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach (30 miles south of Los Angeles)
Carrizo Plain National Monument, California Valley (80 miles east San Luis Obispo)
Chino Hills State Park, Chino Hills (40 miles southeast of Los Angeles)
Cleveland National Forest, Santa Ana Mountains (70 miles northeast of San Diego)
Crafton Hills Preserve, Mentone (70 miles east of Los Angeles)
Diamond Valley Lake, Hemet (50 miles west of Palm Springs)
Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree (30 miles from Palm Springs)
Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas (40 miles west of Los Angeles)
Mojave National Preserve, Barstow (60 miles south of Las Vegas)
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, Borrego Springs (near the Salton Sea, 90 miles east of San Diego)
Oak Glen Preserve (85 miles east of Los Angeles)
Point Mugu State Park, Malibu
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Palm Desert (16 miles north of Pal Springs)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/superbloom-California-wildflowers-where-to-see-13674253.php.