February 27, 2009
Wildflowers cope with Arizona’s unreliable rainfall by growing furiously in the rare wet year and leaving millions of tough seeds in the dry desert soil. Such seeds can remain viable for decades. When it does rain, the outburst of wildflowers uses the water so efficiently, that very little gets past the root zone and into the water table.
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I confess. I’m hooked, addicted, helpless in the grip of my need. Blame the poppies. Not the French Connection heroin poppies — but the tiny seeds that can wait for decades with indestructible patience in stoney desert soils for a year such as this — a mild spring following along behind a decently wet winter after a decade of drought.