Super Bloom

Super Bloom, Death Valley

With a name like Death Valley, it’s easy to imagine the National Park as a barren, desolate wasteland. But thanks to some unusually heavy rain storms last fall, the park that sidles along the border between California and Nevada is bursting with the most wildflowers it’s hosted in a decade—a rare event known as a “super bloom.”

A super bloom isn’t an official term, but it’s an apt one. Parts of Death Valley National Park are blanketed in millions of wildflowers, with species like the yellow Desert Gold and the pink or purple Desert Five-Spot carpeting the southern parts of the park, where the elevation is lowest, Kayla S. Samoy reports for The Arizona Republic.

Under normal circumstances, Death Valley is a hard place for anything to live. The valley is one of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth and only gets a rough average of two inches of rain annually, Tatiana Schlossberg writes for The New York Times. On top of that, the grounds of Death Valley are not the best for blooms, composed of rocky earth, salt flats, and sand dunes. The desert region does get a smattering of wildflowers during normal years, but a series of heavy rainstorms in October triggered the recent burst of blooming flowers—the first super bloom since 2005 … read more, watch video —>  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/

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