Death Valley "super bloom" carpets desert with color
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
Lexile: 910L

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

  • tatumh.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:34 a.m.

    Death valleys flowers are special because Death Valley rarely even gets flowers which makes them special of how dormant there seeds are.

  • lawsonl.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:40 a.m.

    Next time their is a superbloom I want to be there to see it. It would be a good vacation and something I would remember. I wonder if all the different species of the flowers look the same or very different.

  • evakathrynj.1-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:41 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because they are very rare. The special bloom happens about every decade.

  • delainnab.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:44 a.m.

    The flowers in Death Valley are special because that many have never grown in that are for 7 years, and it is an excitement to tourists all around the world.

  • isaact.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:47 a.m.

    Wow!134°F I thought it was hot here when it reach over 90°F

  • mikaylaz.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:47 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because they grow in the hottest and driest place in North America.

  • calebt.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:49 a.m.

    I've never been to death valley but that is one of the many places I hope to go one day.

  • caseyw.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:52 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because it barely rains there.

  • masons.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:53 a.m.

    Death valleys flowers are special because it doesn't get much more rainfall than 2in but this year it had 3 rainstorms and that triggered growth for the flowers

  • gagec.-tay
    3/14/2016 - 09:54 a.m.

    Death Valley's flowers are special because they grow in the place that is so hot and dry.

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