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Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea)

Snow plant or snow flower (Sarcodes sanguinea) is a non-photosynthesizing plant that appears in high elevation forests after the snow has melted. Bright red, it lacks chlorophyll and relies on soil fungi (opposed to typical photosynthesis) for nutrients. Due to snow plant's beauty and rarity, collection is prohibited under California law.

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0419
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0419

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0418
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0418

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0417
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0417

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0416
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0416

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0415
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea), cluster at the base of a red fir sapling. Snow plant obtains its nutrients from soil fungi (known as mycelia), which in turn have a symbiotic or mycorrhizal relationship with conifers. For this reason, these striking wildflowers are limited to the immediate vicinity of conifers. Thunder Mountain Trail, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0415

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0337
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea), highly detailed close-up with focus on a single flower in bloom. Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0337

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0336
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0336

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0335
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0335

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea). Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0234
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea), highly detailed close-up of a single blooming flower. This view clearly reveals the bright red stigma and dark brown anthers inside the flower, as well as the tiny glandular hairs on the curling leaves. Carson Spur, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.
PLA0234

Next Plant: White mountain heather (Cassiope mertensiana)



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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.