Death Valley "super bloom" carpets desert with color Tourists take a picture of wildflowers near Badwater Basin in Death Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Death Valley "super bloom" carpets desert with color
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A rare "super bloom" of wildflowers in Death Valley National Park in California has covered the hottest and driest place in North America with a carpet of gold. The wildflowers are attracting tourists from all over the world. The flowers are enchanting visitors with a stunning display from nature's paint brush.
 
Death Valley National Park is the hottest and driest place in North America. It holds a world record for the hottest temperature ever recorded. It was 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10, 1913. It's also home to the lowest elevation in North America, a place that's 282 feet below sea level. It is called Badwater Basin. Every spring, some wildflowers do bloom before it gets scorching hot. But the abundance of flowers this year is extremely unusual and happens about once every decade.
 
The last time there was a bloom of this magnitude was in 2005. The time before that was in 1998.
 
Death Valley's average annual rainfall is 2 inches a year. Sometimes, it gets no rain at all.
 
This season, the park got three very rare rainstorms in the first two weeks of October. The storms left behind more than 3 inches of rain in some parts of the valley. It was enough to trigger the growth of millions of wildflower seeds that have been dormant in the earth awaiting significant rainfall.
 
No one knows how long seeds can wait for rain. But the last "super bloom" in 2005 led to the blossoming of some flowers that had never been seen before in the park. That indicated that their seeds had been dormant for many years.
 
The most abundant and eye-catching wildflower is the aptly named desert gold. It is a large, bright yellow bloom that looks like a daisy. The stems this year are growing to waist height and the flowers cover entire hillsides and vast areas of the valley floor in the southern section of the park. These flowers are easily enjoyed from the car.
 
Patient sightseers who get out of their cars can see many more species. More than 20 species of wildflower bloom in the park at various elevations.
 
Right now, the best flower show is at the south end of Death Valley National Park along Badwater Road. It is south of Furnace Creek.
 
As the temperature rises, those flowers will fade. The bloom will move north and to higher elevations.
 
The National Park Service updates information on the best spots to see flowers throughout the bloom. For updates, visit www.dvnha.org or www.nps.gov/deva.
 
The show won't last forever. Most of the flowers will wither in the next few weeks as temperatures start to heat up.
 
Some flowers may still be around as late as June at higher elevations. But those won't be as easy to see from a car and could require hiking.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What makes Death Valley’s flowers special?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (72)
  • ellasonr-wal
    3/10/2016 - 01:45 p.m.

    I agree that Death Valley's flowers are special because it only rains 2 inches a year and this time it rained 3 inches.

  • reidi-4-bar
    3/10/2016 - 08:14 p.m.

    A rare super bloom in Death Valley has covered one of the hottest and driest places in North America with flowers. Death valley has the record for the highest temperature ever recorded with a whopping number of 134 degrees fahrenheit. I think that it is very cool that deserts that are usually very boring and bland are filling up with an array of colors.

  • lilyr-4-bar
    3/10/2016 - 09:43 p.m.

    What makes Death Valley's flowers special is that they bloom rarely and are beautiful in contrast to the foreign land. This is shown where it says, "But the last "super bloom" in 2005 led to the blossoming of some flowers that had never been seen before in the park. That indicated that their seeds had been dormant for many years." I found this article interesting because I didn't know that the seeds could stay dormant for that long.

  • caymanm-2-bar
    3/10/2016 - 10:47 p.m.

    What makes Death Valley's flowers special is that it is the hottest and driest place in North America. It gets an average of 2 inches of rainfall per year, sometimes it gets none. The article says " It holds a world record for hottest temperature ever recorded." I thought this article was interesting because you wouldn't think that a bunch of flowers would grow in the hottest place in North America, especially because it doesn't get a lot of water.

  • jilliand-3-bar
    3/10/2016 - 11:43 p.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because it is rare to have a "super bloom" with so little rain. Death Valley has an average of two inches of rain a year,but this year "storms left behind more than three inches of rain in some parts of the valley." So, it is very rare to have this any flowers and occurs about every decade. I thought this article was interesting because I did not know that so many flowers could bloom in Death Valley. I have also always wanted to visit Death Valley so it is cool to learn more about it.

  • paigea-3-bar
    3/11/2016 - 01:18 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are so special because it is amazing how many of these beautiful flowers can only grow with three inches of rain! The article states, "The storms left behind more than 3 inches of rain in some parts of the valley. It was enough to trigger the growth of millions of wildflower seeds that have been dormant in the earth awaiting significant rainfall." It is fascinating to me how, "Death Valley National Park is the hottest and driest place in North America. It holds a world record for the hottest temperature ever recorded. It was 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10, 1913. It's also home to the lowest elevation in North America, a place that's 282 feet below sea level." It is so incredibly hot and dry in Death Valley I just can not imagine how tough it must be for all of those flowers to survive there! I enjoyed this article and I found it amazing how all of these flowers can blossom in the dry and hot desert.

  • olgan-4-bar
    3/11/2016 - 02:31 a.m.

    The idea that flowers bloom in Death Valley is special. The article says that it only rains 2 inches per year in Death Valley so it is a miracle that flowers can survive there. The article states " it was enough to trigger the growth of millions of wildflower seeds that have been dormant in he earth awaiting significant rainfall ". I bought this article was surprising since I never thought flowers could blooms in extremely hot areas.

  • nayelic-hol
    3/11/2016 - 07:57 a.m.

    I think flowers are amazing
    But this one that is not a daisy but its hard to find is even better
    I like this

  • thomasl-wes
    3/11/2016 - 09:12 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because rain falls in little amounts there. So flowers can't bloom. But this year it rained 3 inches. That's more than the Death Valley gets. It only gets about 2 inches of rain. But this year it rained 3 inches which was enough for to bloom. So with that said that's why the flowers are special. Plus they are rare in the Death Valley.

  • tysenn-ver
    3/11/2016 - 11:30 p.m.

    I found it interesting that there is such a thing as a "super bloom". It seems really rare because the last time that it happened it was in 2005. I hope that I get to see some of these flowers and it would be really cool to go and see them. It sucks that you have to go hiking to see them though.

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