“Hackberry” Fire in Mojave National Preserve

In June of 2005 the Mojave National Preserve witnessed a 70,000 acre burn, called the Hackberry Complex Fires.  As a direct result of this fire there was a phenomenal bloom all throughout the burn area despite the lack of rain.  During March – May of 2006, the landscape was filled with purple, yellow, white, and orange due to the native species in bloom.  Species such as, Verbeena goodingii, Sphaeralcea ambigua, Phacelia campunalaria, Gilia stellata, Senecio multilobatus, and Chaetopappus ericoides, came up in abundance. In addition, all but a few of the perennial shrubs were seen resprouting, including, Opuntia triglochidiatus, Ephedra nevadensis, Prunus fasciculatus, Yucca schidigera, Robinia neomexicana, and many more. What is even more amazing is that a similar bloom was seen this year in March, April, and May on even less rain.  The bloom was not quite as showy this year, as the predominant species were smaller in stature; for example, Cryptantha gracilis, Eriastrum eremicum, Gilia clokeyi, and Phacelia freemontii, were all carpeting the washes and slopes. Again, the perennial shrubs were seen with new growth coming as a resprouts from the base or in some cases from the tips of the plant (e.g. Yucca brevifolia).