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Could this be a super-bloom wildflower year for Death Valley?

Early blooms signal it could be a very good year for wildflowers at Death Valley National Park

Despite the lingering California drought, 2015 could be one of the best years for wildflowers in a decade at Death Valley National Park.

That's the word from the Death Valley Natural History Assn. which last week reported "patches of green" and a few early blooms at the park on its Facebook page.

A great wildflower year would mean showy carpets of desert golds, desert dandelions, desert five-spots and others in the park about 280 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The organization says conditions are favorable because rains came at the right time and temperatures have been warmer than usual.

"The weather over the next several weeks will be the determining factor but from what I'm seeing on the ground, this could be the best year we've had since the spectacular displays of 2005," executive director David Blacker said in a statement.

Wildflowers are expected to begin blooming in Death Valley in late February at the lowest elevations around the park's dunes and alongside roads.

If it's an average to good year, they'll last through mid-April, with plants at high elevations blooming as late as June and July, the statement says.

Anza-Borrego Desert Start Park in Borrego Springs reports that desert lilies are blooming in the area (along Henderson Canyon Road, east of Highway S-2), according to the Anza Borrego Foundation website.

It's still too dry to predict when and where "anticipated blankets of conspicuous flowers" will pop up -- if at all. Call the park's Wildflower Hotline at (760) 767-4684 for updates.

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