Desert annuals like grasses and wildflowers are adapted to the arid environment in many different ways. These include thick, waxy coverings on leaves and stems which reduce exposure and thus evaporative water loss; small leaves which reduce water loss while the plant transpires or “breathes” and receive less solar radiation; and deep taproots to reach further into the soil or shallow widespread roots that absorb surface water quickly.
Despite these adaptations, most desert wildflowers avoid drought and heat by surviving as seeds or bulbs stored in the soil, sometimes for decades. These seeds will only germinate after significant seasonal rainfall, so wildflower growth in Arches is highly variable year to year. April and May are generally the best months to see wildflowers, then again in early fall if there are a lot of summer monsoons.
Arches Flower Guide
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Last updated: December 12, 2015