General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Plant Spread: This is a symbiotic plant that relies on certain fungi living in the litter of conifer forests of California & Western Nevada.
Leaves: Other: Only inflorescence visible above ground
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Image
Common names
  • Snow Plant
  • Snowplant

Photo Gallery

Date: 2008-06-29
Found in the El Dorado National Forest in the Sierra Mountains.
Location: Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California
Date: 2010-08-18
Location: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada
Date: 2005-07-02

Date: 2008-06-29
Showing size in relation to surrounding forest.
Location: Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California
Date: 2008-06-28
Location: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada
Date: 2005-07-02
Location: Junction Meadow Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) grove on High Sierra Trail
Date: 2011-08-01
Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
Location: Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) in Kern Canyon on High Sierra Trail
Date: 2011-08-01
Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
Comments:
  • Posted by MLewis (Northern Nevada - Zone 6b) on Jul 3, 2015 11:20 AM concerning plant:
    Sarcodes is a parasitic plant that lacks chlorophyll and lives via a symbiotic relationship between the plant and native fungi. Sarcodes fixes carbon for the fungi, and gets nutrients it lacks in return.

    Only visible in bloom, the bright red you see is just the inflorescence. Bloom time is late spring to early summer.

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