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Poor weather delaying, dulling Arizona's wildflower season

A dry start to 2022 and late winter storms in February are delaying or halting Arizona's wildflower season.

PICACHO, Ariz. — The old adage April showers bring May flowers has rarely held true in Arizona. It’s usually more like, February showers bring March flowers.

The dry start to 2022 and the late February winter storms that brought snow and light rain to much of the state are creating a new scenario: minimal February showers bring no flowers.

Normally, Arizona’s numerous state parks are awash in colorful flora this time of year. However, the wildflower reports on the Arizona State Parks’ website this year are on the discouraging side.

Picacho Peak State Park in southern Arizona is perhaps the best-known spot in the state to take in the sights and smells of blooming wildflowers. This year, however, the park's website is reporting low wildflower bloom.

“Poppies are sprouting in the park, but not in great numbers. With the dry wild grasses, they can be hard to spot. This will definitely not be a robust wildflower year, but there are splashes of color near the visitors center,” the park’s wildflower report from March 4, 2022, stated.

Picacho Peak’s wildflower report from Feb. 25, 2022 also noted that “unless we get really lucky, it could be a sub-par wildflower year at Picacho.”

RELATED: The types of wildflowers you'll see on Arizona hikes

Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction is fairing only slightly better than Picacho Peak. The wildflower report for the mountain was last updated on Feb. 25 and it noted that poppies and brittlebush have started to bloom.

The report also stated that the late winter storm that swept the state on Feb. 22 and 23 brought snow to the mountain instead of rain which killed off new buds. The report was hopeful that underground seeds would germinate later on.

The report for Lost Dutchman ended with, “Current status for finding wildflowers: still spare and inconspicuous, but you may find a purple desert hyacinth or a yellow aster here or there.”

The wildflower report for Red Rock State Park in Sedona also struck a similarly tepid tone in the wildflower report. “Currently there are very few stork’s bill [and] fleabane blooming. The recent moisture could help more wildflowers germinate."

RELATED: Where to find the best wildflowers in the Valley

The most hopeful wildflower report comes from Alamo Lake State Park in western Arizona. Wildflowers usually bloom in late March and early April at this park and the wildflower report from Feb. 25 stated that “brittlebush is beginning to bloom, and many of the plants are loaded with buds, promising more to come. The nice rain we received last night and this morning should help kick it off.”

Blooms at Alamo Lake usually appear in late March and early April so stay tuned for their peak. It may be one of the best places in the state to experience Arizona’s wildflower season.

If you're in Phoenix and want to see wildflowers without too much effort, the Desert Botanical Garden features a wildflower loop trail to visitors. In addition to wildflowers, the trail features blooming cactus.

EN ESPAÑOL: La temporada de flores silvestres en Arizona se opaca debido al tiempo

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