Many people conjure up thoughts of sand dunes, tumbleweeds, and dry washes when they think of the desert. Desert terrain can be dry and sparse. Although the look is different, the springtime does bring vegetation to the desert. When the winter rains are done, the desert comes alive with its own stark beauty. And wildflowers. Yes, there are flowers in the desert. You may not find daffodils or lilacs growing wild here, but desert wildflowers are bright and beautiful, and, in some years, abundant.
East of Phoenix in Superior, Arizona the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park was founded in the 1920's to showcase the beauty of the desert environment. If you enjoy walking (wear comfortable shoes!) in a unique setting you should make it a point to visit the Arboretum.
The best time to see wildflowers in the Arizona deserts is in March and early April. Of course, the number of wildflowers to be seen depends greatly on the amount of rain that the area gets the previous winter, so check the wildflower reports to see where the best flowers are. Even during a dry year, however, you can always visit the Arboretum for a good dose of desert color.
On a trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, I took photographs of desert wildflowers. Those, and other taken at the Desert Botanical Garden and at other locations around the Phoenix area are included in the Wildflower Picture Gallery. Spring is a beautiful time of year in the desert and I hope you enjoy these photos of the desert in bloom.