"This periodic phenomenon in Chile's Atacama Desert is known locally as desierto florido (flowering desert)... For the Atacama, however, a bloom is particularly rare. The desert strip extends for 994 miles along Chile's northwestern coast. It's so dry that, in some regions, rainfall has never been recorded. Plants like perennials and succulents are only typically found in basins where some water accumulates, but most of the Atacama is so dry that few plants, animals, or even bacteria live there."
Video at the National Geographic link.