Why Doesn't The Bay Area Get A 'Superbloom' Too?

Jim Taylor
February 20, 2020 - 12:22 pm
An aerial view of a ‘super bloom’ of wild poppies blanketing the hills on March 22, 2019 near Lake Elsinore.

Mario Tama/Getty Images


The so-called superblooms of wildflowers like poppies that took over huge expanses of Southern California hillsides last year are unlikely to appear in the Bay Area, according to an expert.

There are too many invasive species of European grasses in the Bay Area and Northern California that suppress the flowers, University of California-Riverside geography professor Richard Minnich said. 

Fields are covered with wild mustard, wild oats and other types of grass, Minnich said, that are not native to the area. 

The unusually dry winter here could actually cause these grasses to "crash," Minnich said, which might enable more wildflowers to break through. 

The explosion of bright orange poppies near Lake Elsinore turned the area into an overnight tourist destination. Officials closed some roads to handle the influx of visitors.