March is wildflower season in Arizona, a time to enjoy glorious blooms in the desert before the temperatures climb and the flowers fade. The number of flowers vary according to how much precipitation nature has bestowed upon the desert, but be sure to savor the color wherever you discover it. If you don’t find fields filled with wildflowers, enjoy the small clumps found at the base of plants or in unexpected places around town. We’ve suggested a few favorite spots to see and photograph wildflowers below. Another good resource is the Desert Botanical Garden’s Wildflower Tracking Site, which goes live March 1. The site is a collaborative effort by more than two dozen parks and gardens across central and southern Arizona to get real-time information on which flowers are blooming, and where. Grab your camera, put on some comfortable outdoor shoes, and bring plenty of water to enjoy this colorful time of the year. Note: Usery Park and Boyce Thompson Arboretum have guided wildflower walks, with dates listed below. Types of Wildflowers
- Mexican gold poppy: Known for its showy gold blooms, the Mexican poppy is found below elevations of 4,500 feet.
- Desert lupine: Violet-blue blooms often seen growing amid Mexican poppy. They are found below 3,000 feet.
- Brittlebush: This shrub’s yellow blooms add to spring color.
- Desert marigold: Yellow flowers found below 5,000 feet, often along roadsides and slopes.
- Firecracker penstemon: Red flowers found throughout the West at elevations from 3,000 to 11,000 feet.