Wildflowers arrive: Burst of blooms follow soggy spring | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wildflowers arrive: Burst of blooms follow soggy spring

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

It’s not every year that the Lake Tahoe region experiences a season known to much of the rest of the world as “spring”.

Some years, April snow showers run smack into a persistent high pressure system that provides for Lake Tahoe’s summer weather.

But weeks of cool, wet weather have set the stage for what could be a memorable year for wildflowers in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“Things around the basin are just getting started,” said botanist and author Karen Wiese.

Meteorologists predict a gradual warming trend over the next week, and Wiese expects the heat to coax some of the season’s stubborn early bloomers out of their funk.

“Now that it’s going to warm up, it’s going to happen fast,” Wiese said.

Although certain species of flowers will start to bloom until October in the Sierra Nevada, the best time for wildflower viewing in the region is typically between now and the end of July, Wiese said.

Lupine and camas lilies are now cropping up in Hope Valley, about 20 minutes south of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. In a couple weeks, Carson Pass, just west of Hope Valley on Highway 88, will be another excellent place to stop and smell the flowers, Wiese said.

For wildflower seekers who prefer not to leave the car, Blue Lakes Road off of Highway 88 provides easy access to bountiful blooms, Wiese added.

Meadows are hot spots for wildflower activity, and while the past weeks’ precipitation won’t guarantee an abnormally plentiful wildflower season, the warm weather will certainly help, said Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit forest botanist Cheryl Beyer.

Wildflower hunters should read up on the specific needs of different plants to get the best idea of where to look, Beyer said.

“We expect them as soon as the weather warms up, which looks like this week, so we should probably have something blooming,” Beyer said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

Beyer encouraged people seeking more information on wildflowers in the area to call her at (530) 542-2842.

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