Wildflower season is under way in Maricopa County

This desert marigold was photographed by a park ranger during an earlier wildflower season at San Tan Mountain Regional Park. (Special to the Independent)

Spring is in the air and the wildflowers are blooming. Along with the warm temperatures comes the chance to view Mother Nature at her finest as she carpets the desert floor with an array of beautiful colors.

While some may curse the allergies the wildflowers bring, others are gleefully grabbing their cameras and rushing outside to capture photos before they disappear.

“We encourage everyone to visit our county parks during this spectacular wildflower season,” said Maricopa County Supervisor Chairman Denny Barney. “This winter, the Valley received an abundance of rain and the parks are poised for one of the best wildflower seasons in recent memory.”

“The colorful Poppies, Lupine, Globemallow and Brittlebush are beginning to bloom right now and will continue to do so during the next few weeks throughout the region. The county parks provide the perfect venues to take in the most awesome displays of color nature has to offer,” said Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director R.J. Cardin.

“If you’d like to see what’s blooming around the parks before you arrive, we encourage you to visit our Go Wild for Flowers Facebook page and Pinterest board which feature numerous blooms. For those taking photos of the wildflowers while on the trails, we’d love to see what you’ve shot. Simply upload your photos onto the Facebook page and we’ll take it from there,” Mr. Cardin said.

During the week of Feb. 23, the interpretive rangers began rolling out wildflower hikes and programs.

“We understand that wildflower season can overwhelm the senses, literally. To help with wildflower identification and locations, the parks have begun offering wildflower walks, hikes and searches,” said Mr. Cardin.

Participants are encouraged to bring plant books and cameras on the hikes. Trails used vary from week to week depending upon the abundance and variety of wildflowers. To learn more about Maricopa County’s regional parks and the Go Wild for Flowers campaign, visit http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/.

Information on upcoming wildflower events and hikes may also be obtained on this site.

Editor’s note: Dawna Taylor is the public information officer for the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department.

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