Mojave Desert: Joshua Bloom

Joshua Tree Bloom, Mojave Desert

There is something humbling about stumbling upon something as beautiful as a Joshua bloom.  Before last week, 23 years had passed since I last saw a Joshua Tree.  I do not recall the trees being in bloom at that time; neither do I remember that they were not.  What I can say with certainty (and no small degree of sadness) is that even if in they were in bloom, I would not have paid particular attention.  I was enraptured by life’s panorama, indifferent to small and delicate mysteries such as the Joshua bloom.  On this visit, however, when we arrived in the Mojave and I spied the flowers, I instantly delighted in them.

Joshua Tree, Mojave Desert

The Joshua Tree is the largest Yucca and does not bloom every year.  It is not known precisely when or why the Joshua will bloom but it is speculated that the flowering relates to the plant’s responses to rainfall or lack thereof.  In 2013 a record profusion of Joshua blossoms led scientists to speculate that the Trees are radically threatened by the worsening drought in the Mojave.

A trend in the Joshua Tree population shows that as older Joshua Trees die, they are not being replaced by new ones, thereby putting the future of the Trees at risk.



27 thoughts on “Mojave Desert: Joshua Bloom

  1. They really are amazing, Chillbrook. They are so quintessentially Mojave. They appear prehistoric and somewhat discombobulated, as if they have forged into the present by sheer will…I hope they have the fortitude to persevere into the future…

  2. Hi Vivian, a lovely sight to see! The desert has it’s beauty. I did not see it that way while growing up in Palm Springs. To me it was just hot, but I do believe I appreciated the Mesquite trees.. Enjoy!

    • Hi Roberta, It is so nice to hear from you! The Joshua bloom is indeed lovely. The Mesquite are also beautiful. We were hoping to make it to the Palm Springs area but did not as we unfortunately had to cut our trip short. We did visit the Red Rock Canyon State Park which was gorgeous. Warm regards, Vivian

  3. This bloom defines beauty in simplicity! It is a desperate cry to us, to stop inducing climatic changes so rapidly. I do hope they survive the drought.
    You were indeed lucky to have seen the tree in bloom! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Thank you my friend, Sumithra, for your lovely note. I am delighted that you enjoyed this photo–indeed the Joshua Tree flower was a welcome sight and I am certain that you are right, we must tend with care to the earth so that this cherished iconic Mojave plant and other imperiled life might survive and thrive. Warmest regards dear one, Vivian

  4. Spring in the desert is magical. Joshua Trees are so mysterious. The blooms are gorgeous. It’s sad to think that they might be a call for help.

    • Hi Julie, I often think of you in relation to the Mojave. Spring is indeed magical in the desert. I was unaware of the Joshua’s plight while in the Mojave–I learned of it during my post-travel research, which I always enjoy. I just wish that, in this case, the results of that research were a little prettier.

  5. This plant is very very exotic to me ! At the complete opposite of where I live. I have never been in a desert and to me it looks like another planet. I hope someday I can go to your so beautiful part of the world Vivian and admire the beautiful Joshua blooms.
    Have a beautiful end of week 🙂

    • Dear Jocelyne, It is so kind of you to visit and to leave me such a nice note! Actually, the Joshua Tree and other desert flora are also very exotic to me, for I grew up on the northeastern tip of the United States. (I had the pleasure of visiting eastern Canada five or six times–it is beautiful!) Now the West and particularly the desert is home to me. I do hope that you one day get to see it…and that the Joshua Tree blooms for you when you arrive! Many blessings, Vivian

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