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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 05:57 AM

Southern California Will Soon See Another Booming Superbloom



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By Jason Daley
SMITHSONIAN.COM
FEBRUARY 11, 2019 4:24PM
11510011332
In the next few weeks, parts of Southern California may experience a superbloom, which is when the desert landscape comes alive with blossoming wild poppies, verbena, lilies, primroses, prickly pear and dozens of other species of ephemeral native spring wildflowers, reports Evan Nicole Brown at Atlas Obscura.

The term superbloom is used to describe years when excess rain causes chaparral and desert landscapes to produce more flowers than normal, with carpets of wildflowers sometimes covering entire landscapes for a brief period, explains Eleanor Imster at EarthSky. The seeds of desert wildflowers are made to last—they often have thick or waxy coatings and are able to survive in a dormant state for years or decades. Tiffany Camhi at KQED reports that the best superblooms occur after extended drought has had time to kill off invasive weeds that compete with native wildflowers for sunlight, followed by above average rainfall. When the excess rain soaks and softens the seed coats—as they did in 2017—the plants germinate en masse, producing acres and acres of blossoms.

In some desert areas, rare species that only bloom every few years, or even decades, can pop up. “In super blooms you can get flowers, which in some cases, are thought to be extinct," Richard Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at University of California, Riverside says.

The massive Woolsey Fire that burned 96,949 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura scorching 88 percent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area will also help to produce a bumper crop of flowers in southern California. That’s because many wildflower species, including poppy, popcorn-flower, lily, lupine, snapdragon, and some sunflowers only germinate under these exact conditions. Mark Mendelsohn, a National Park Service biologist the Recreation Area tells Brown that circumstances are right for a unique superbloom in the region

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Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/southern-california-cusp-another-jawdropping-superbloom-180971466/#VIkdPjhSTvtMB5ed.99
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Reply Southern California Will Soon See Another Booming Superbloom (Original post)
SoCalDem Feb 12 OP
oasis Feb 12 #1

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 06:10 AM

1. Lovely. nt

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