Last week, the Southern California wildflower bloom was gearing up to be one of the biggest and best in a while. Then, this past weekend happened. Outrageous, record-busting heat forced an early start to the LA Marathon and "cooked" the heck out of the poppies in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, KPCC says, citing the most recent of the reserve's Bloom Status updates. Though many of the other wildflowers (forget-me-nots, lupine) are still holding on, the poppies out there are now little more than "desiccated poppy petals."
California's state flower may look delicate, but poppies—and especially these ones in the Antelope Valley—are "desert-adapted, [and] ruggedly persistent." Of course, a heat wave like the one this past weekend introduces a variable that "can quickly alter any prediction," the reserve notes. If the area gets a good rain pretty much immediately, there's a chance that the poppies that aren't totally dead yet could be "triggered" to bud again, but that rain would have to come SOON. (There's a chance of rain mid-week.) Without it, "at this rate, as soon as mid-April there may be little left of this year's bloom."
· Record heat destroys annual California poppy bloom [SCPR]
· Take in SoCal's Already Unusually Good Wildflower Season [Curbed LA]