LANCASTER (AP) — The recent heat wave was a blooming catastrophe for Southern California’s poppy reserve.
The state parks department says the reserve in the Antelope Valley northeast of Los Angeles had the densest native poppy germination anyone had seen in a decade.
Then came an unseasonal weekend heat wave. The agency says it all but “cooked away” the poppies, turning those on the south slope into shriveled orange petals before they had a chance to go to seed.
A few poppies remain on north slopes of the 1,700-acre reserve in Lancaster.
If their roots haven’t died, the department says there’s still a chance a good rain could cause the poppies to bud — but it had better happen soon or the bloom may be all but over.