Ask a Question forum: Snow Plant

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Simi Valley, California
malex60
Jul 12, 2019 3:24 PM CST
I recently ordered seeds for Sarcodes sanguinea, otherwise know as Snow Plant. I saw several recently on a hike and thought they would be a nice addition to my garden. Does anyone know much about this fungi? Is it possible to grow it at sea level? If so, how should the seeds be planted (deep wise, etc). Thanks for any information you can provide. My first post here. Hopefully I can get these to grow...

Best Regards, Mark Alexander
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jul 12, 2019 4:27 PM CST
Welcome!

There is a reason Snow Plants are very rare and it has to do with the symbiotic relationship with certain conifers and their mycorrhizae. Also, the plants are blood red but called 'Snow' plant because they live in snow country and typically emerge when there's still snow on the ground. By late spring, they are gone until next year.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 12, 2019 5:04 PM CST
They are not in a symbiotic relationship. Snow plants are parasitic plants.
They are not fungi. If they were, they reproduce by spores, not seeds.

However DaisyL is on to something because they are available for purchase. I imagine some one has figured out how that they attack the host plant(s) and can get them to grow.
But I also imagine that a plant that has that kind of color, it must attract some type of pollinator. And usually pollinators are drawn there because they need them tompollinate their flowers.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jul 12, 2019 5:20 PM CST
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflow...
You might be able to grow it at sea level if you can establish a healthy conifer forest there for it first.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jul 12, 2019 7:03 PM CST
Yes, Bill is right, the relationship between Snow Plants and the mycorrhiza is parasitic. The relationship between the conifer and the mycorrhiza is symbiotic.

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflow...

You can buy seeds for anything. That doesn't mean you can grow them successfully. Here's one for you Bill:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/6...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jul 12, 2019 7:19 PM CST
Well I realize that you make an excellent point about seed availability but I am sitting here racking my brain trying think of a parasitic plant that makes seeds that one could grow. I can't get my old brain to grasp this notion. I must think on it some more.
But that site you sent me the link to was pretty silly. I mean 200 Phalaenopsis seeds for $7.00. I wonder how many people would buy them thinking that you could simply plant them in a garden??
Or even if it is explained to the customer about flasks and agar and so forth, how many people would get that.
Then there was the White Egret Orchid, I think it might be Habenaria medusae, it actually shows the upper half of a Great Egret photoshopped into the middle of the flower. Then how many dopes think that it actually looks like that!
Caveat emptor I guess!!!
Thanks for that link!!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Jul 12, 2019 9:57 PM CST
The sex life of Snow Plats:

https://botany.org/Parasitic_P...

There are just a few conifers that grow the right fungi but, it must not be that wide spread, even though the right trees are, or there would be more Snow Plants. TheSnow Plants grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains above 4000 or 5000 ft barely into Oregon and barely into Nevada.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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