Landscape in Walker Canyon during the superbloom, California poppies covering the mountain valleys and ridges, Lake Elsinore, south California

Just a few weeks agocity ​​officials in Lake Elsinore, California, have closed their trails to prevent members of the public from disturbing a potential superbloom of golden poppy flowers in the region.

The suspension was to prevent chaos breaking out around people trying to see the flowers, similar to what happened in Lake Elsinore in 2019 when a different superbloom occurs. But what exactly is a superbloom and why are people so excited to see it?

The Basics of Superbloom

Superblooms are what their name suggests: extreme, taller than normal wildflower blooms. The rare occurrence is almost exclusive to California’s deserts and occurs almost exclusively in California state or national parks such as Death Valley National Park, according to National Geographic.

Superblooms begin with “a regular series of drenching rains beginning in October and continuing through February, after several years of drought and little or no flowers.” according to the University of California-Riverside. Cooler weather can also help supercolor longevity.

Read more: How flowering plants took over the world

However, excessive rain does not always lead to a superbloom, as desert annuals (plants that grow there every year) can disrupt the growth of other wildflowers. Also, a type of grass called brome can grow quickly in the area and prevent the growth of wildflowers.

It’s also important to note that the term “superbloom” was coined by the media, not ecologists or botanists. According to Richard Minichprofessor of earth sciences at the University of California-Riverside, the supercolor is “all in the eye of the beholder.”

(Credit: John Dvorak/Shutterstock)

The most famous super blooms in history

Although superblooms technically don’t happen that often, three of California’s most famous superblooms have occurred in the past three decades.

First, in 1991 The Coachella Valley experienced an explosion in wildflower growth after extreme amounts of rainfall. Scientists coined the growth of wildflowers as the “March Miracle.”

In 2005, both Death Valley and the Coachella Valley experienced wild flower growth booms in the spring. In 2016, 11 years later, Death Valley suffered another super bloom. It enlivened fields of wildflowers and colored the valley for the first time in a decade.

Read more: 5 of the strangest looking flowers

Finally, in 2019, a superbloom occurred in Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore, California. Fields of flowers drew ‘Disneyland-sized crowds’ according to officials In the zone. Members of the Lake Elsinore community hope the trail closures will help prevent large crowds from flocking to see the flowers this time.

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