Spurred by loads of rain, large bursts of flowers have thrived during spring in California over the course of the last four years.

When springtime rolls around, there's one thing that captivates flower-fanatics everywhere: a super bloom. While mother nature's explosion of flowers is a sight to see, they don't come around as often as you might think. According to the Washington Post, one super bloom recently took the state of California by storm back in 2019—covering fields with floral touches that could even be seen from outer space; these clusters of flowers usually only pop up every ten years.

california poppy super bloom
Credit: Getty / Stefano Da Sacco

With all of this said, what is this botanical beauty exactly? Ahead, explore all the need-to-know details on the plant phenomenon.

What Is a Super Bloom, and How Often do They Occur?

The concept of a super bloom is quite simple: It's an above average burst of blooming flowers. The plant frenzy—known to take over areas in Central and Southern California—is the result of large amounts of rain and mountain snow from the fall and winter seasons. Wildflowers generally sprout every spring, but the larger fields of flowers are rarer and typically appear every decade. Even though this is usually the case, the Washington Post notes that 2016, 2017, and 2019 exceeded the norm with extraordinary arrays of blossoms; record-breaking amounts of rain and wetness during the months prior were contributing factors.

Where Can You See a Super Bloom?

Super blooms are normally found in California, with recent hot spots including Death Valley and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. And the California poppy is typically the most common plant to cover the various fields throughout the Golden State—which makes sense as this bloom is known to flourish after rainy seasons, growing up to 12 inches in height and about two inches wide when in full bloom. CBS News reports that the town of Lake Elsinore in Southern California announced a "poppy apocalypse" last year when the plant erupted throughout fields, causing a flood of 100,000 tourists to crowd the relatively small town.

If the wetness from the fall and winter defies the odds again, another outbreak may pack grasslands for colorful, blooming attractions. In the meantime, only time will tell what, and how many blooms, spring will bring.


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