Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Snow Plant
Sarcodes sanguinea

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sarcodes (sark-OH-dees) (Info)
Species: sanguinea (san-GWIN-ee-a) (Info)

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

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Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

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Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

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Other details:
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 18 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bloodyeyeful On Mar 27, 2014, bloodyeyeful from Oakhurst, CA wrote:

I saw three Snowplants growing side by side near the edge of Willow Creek, near Bass Lake Ca. on March 23rd. 2014

Neutral Weezingreens On Oct 31, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Sarcodes sanguinea is a non-photosynthetic plant that does not require chlorophyll, which accounts for its bloody red color. It is a herbaceous and saprophylic perennial, occurring naturally in at mid-mountain range from Southern Califorinia to Oregon, and east to Nevada. The botanical name, Sarcodes sanguinea translates to 'Fleshy Blood'. The common name 'Snow Plant' refers to the fact that it emerges from the dead needle beds beneath pines when the snow melts offering moisture as the soil warms.

These plants live on decaying matter in the soil and are also believed to be parasitic to the roots of the pines. The fat, scaly stalks have long, fringed bracts from which red blooms appear from May to July. Though the asparagus-like stalks are edible, it is a protected species in California.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dollar Point, California
Markleeville, California
Twain Harte, California

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