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Where the wildflowers are
Wildflowers such as Sand Verbena and Ajo Lily are in bloom this season and Yumans can go out and enjoy the colors displayed throughout the desert landscape.
"It is so pretty," said Karen Reichardt, a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management's Yuma Field Office. "The colors are just exquisite (and) it shows the desert in a different light."
The sprouting of flowers throughout the desert is due to the rains last month, said Reichardt. This is the month to see the desert's vibrant-rich blooms in selected locations. The wildflowers can be seen into the month of May as long as the Yuma area gets rains, said Reichardt.
According to Reichardt and Web sources, some of the wildflowers in the Yuma area and their locations are:
-Sand Verbena - a purple flower 2 to 3 inches wide, with oval leaves. They can be found on the slope on the north side of 24th Street across from Yuma Regional Medical Center. They can also be seen along Interstate 8 on the way to Los Algodones, Baja Calif., and on the mesa southeast of Yuma along Avenue 3E.
Motorists traveling east on I-8 can also see Sand Verbena on hillsides east of Wellton.
-Ajo Lily - a large white flower with long slender leaves and wavy margins on the edges of the leaves. These can be seen in the flat, unbulldozed areas in the Foothills along North Frontage Road, Reichardt said.
-Birdcage Evening Primrose - a showy white flower than can also be found on North Frontage Road.
-Desert Sunflower - a tiny yellow sunflower that can be found in selected spots on Highway 78 going toward Blythe.
-Indian Wheat - a grayish-green grass-like plant with a yellow flower that that can be seen in low, flat areas around Yuma. These also can be seen along North Frontage Road, Reichardt said.
"If people enjoy walking the desert, the desert washes are more promising than the desert pavement - low flat areas - this year," said Reichardt.
However, for a greater amount of flower scenery, Reichardt recommends going to Tucson.
Flowers can also be seen on the hills northeast of Gila Bend. And they can be seen up toward Eagle Tail Mountain north of Dateland, and at the New Water Wilderness east of Quartzsite.
For more information on the Yuma area's wildflower season, call the BLM at 317-3200.
Jennifer Lovell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.