“Because of all the rain, most of the native wildflowers are all still in a vegetative mode. They are just putting on green. As soon as we get some hot, clear sunny days, that will be the trigger that puts them into blooming mode” Timothy Krantz, a University of Redlands professor, told the Orange County Register earlier this month.
In areas like Death Valley, the average annual rainfall is two inches. Sometimes, it gets no rain at all.
This season, the park got three very rare storms in the first two weeks of October that dropped more than three inches of rain in some parts of the valley. That was enough to trigger the growth of millions of wildflower seeds that have been dormant, awaiting significant rainfall.
No one knows how long seeds can wait for rain, but some flowers blossomed in 2005 that had never been seen in the park — indicating their seeds had been dormant for many years.
The bloom is expected to last through mid-March, depending on the daily temperatures.