Museo Virtual, Atacama
W. Griem, 2020
Flowering desert between Vallenar and Copiapó, Atacama Region - Chile.
The desert blooming in the coastal sector, near Barranquilla in 2010
Argylia radiata, or flower of Jote in the desert of Atacama, Chile
The desert in bloom
An almost unique phenomenon in the world, after heavy rains the Atacama desert converts a garden full of flowers of all colors. In these years, between September and November the desert is hardly recognizable. One of the world's driest place in bloom after heavy rain falls in month of may.
One of the most striking and impressive phenomena is undoubtedly the flowering desert. After rain falls in winter, the desert becomes a sea of flowers. Especially if rainfall occurred during the months of July and September. It depends on the weather of the year, but generally after rains the desert begins to bloom in the last weeks of September until late November. But until January or February, a slightly greener aspect remains in the desert.
The best places to observe the flowering desert are the plains between Vallenar and Copiapó, the coastal road between Huasco and Puerto Viejo. But all the desert looks greener anyway. This phenomenon is repeated every 3 to 8 years (depending on rainfall), for example in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2010, 2015, 2017 it was possible to observe the phenomenon. Since the desert rains in some years have a local character, it is possible to observe the flora in other years only in special sectors.
The flowering desert occurs because of the ability of some plants
adapted to the desert climate to keep their seeds in an inert form a few
centimetres below the surface for years or decades. They only sprout if
the amount of falling water is sufficient to start the cycle.
This phenomenon has a strong impact on the desert's ecological system: In these years the number of insects and birds is much greater in comparison to normal years.
The flowering desert is not an annual phenomenon. It depends on the amount of rainfall between April and August of the same year.
Remember that plants and flowers cannot be removed.
Behavior in the desert
The Andes mountains (I)
The Andes mountains (II)
Atacama desert (1)
Atacama desert (2)
Rain in the desert
● Flowering desert (1)
Flowering desert (2)
Flowering desert (3)
Snow in the Atacama desert (1)
Snow in the Atacama desert (2)
Las Dunas de Atacama
Pissis 1875: Desierto Atacama
Flora del desierto Atacama
Animals of the Atacama Desert
History of Atacama
Virtual vantage point to the Desert
Vida Atacama en fotos b/n
Mapas de Atacama
Climate of the Atacama Region
Mining history of Atacama
The railroad history of Atacama
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