Snow Plant (Sarcodes sanguinea)

Common names:
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Give a thumbs up Snowplant

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

Found in the El Dorado National Forest in the Sierra Mountains.

Photo gallery:
Date: 2008-06-29Found in the El Dorado National Forest in the Sierra Mountains.
By Calif_Sue
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Location: Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, CaliforniaDate: 2010-08-18
By Kelli
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Date: 2008-06-29Showing size in relation to surrounding forest.
By Calif_Sue
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Location: Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, CaliforniaDate: 2008-06-28
By Kelli
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Location: Lake Tahoe area, NevadaDate: 2005-07-02
By MLewis
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Location: Junction Meadow Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) grove on High Sierra TrailDate: 2011-08-01Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
By admin
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Location: Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) in Kern Canyon on High Sierra TrailDate: 2011-08-01Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
By admin
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Location: Lake Tahoe area, NevadaDate: 2005-07-02
By MLewis
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Comments:
Posted by MLewis (Northern Nevada - Zone 6b) on Jul 3, 2015 11:20 AM

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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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Snow Plant by malex60 Jul 12, 2019 9:57 PM 6
What plant is this? by Flowergus May 12, 2019 10:05 PM 4
Melissa's Garden by valleylynn Jul 5, 2015 1:21 PM 17
Wild Rock Gardens by dirtdorphins Mar 21, 2014 9:04 AM 66

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