More than 20 species of wildflowers have bloomed in Death Valley — a once-in-a-decade event.
The wildflowers started appearing in January. Bigelow’s monkeyflowers (magenta petals and furry leaves), turtlebacks (spiky bright dots and puffy creased leaves), gravel ghosts (white bursts and long skinny stems) — more than 20 species in all have announced themselves in Death Valley. Commanding the most attention are the desert golds, visible even from the air as a blond veil across what is ordinarily drab and barren terrain. Known as a “superbloom,” this pageant of color hasn’t been seen in 11 years and is the result of the valley receiving 75 percent of its annual average rainfall last October — the wettest October ever recorded.