National Forest Foundation

Why the Snow Plant is one of the coolest things you’ll see on National Forests in California

Forest Ecology


The snow plant’s scientific name, sarcodes sanguinea , roughly translates to “the bloody flesh-like thing.”

The snow plant does not need the sun to survive. 

It derives its nutrients from fungi in the soil, placing it in the mycotrophic category.

Because the snow plant lives off of fungi, it’s basically a parasite.

Snow plants pop out of the ground shortly after the snow melts in late spring.

It’s bright red. You’re unlikely to confuse it with anything else on the ground.

They usually grow in colonies.

California can nearly claim the snow plant as its own – they’re mostly found in conifer forests in the state. Portions of Western Nevada have also reported the snow plant.

Learn more about snow plants here and here.

Have you come across a snow plant? We'd love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Related Posts

Seven Reasons Why Fish Need Wood

While it may seem counterintuitive, adding large woody material (LWM) , including whole trees, limbed logs and rootwads, to forest streams can provide many benefits to fish.

Read more

Citizen Science 101

If you’re tuned into the conservation community, you might have heard the term citizen science. But what exactly is citizen science?

Read more

Eight Important Facts You Should Know About Post-Fire Restoration

Wildfire is a necessary and important part of a natural landscape, but it is undeniable that some wildfires have harsh and negative impacts on communities, water resources, outdoor recreation resources, and fish and wildlife habitat. In these cases, post-fire restoration can be crucial to prevent further damage and to spur recovery. Check out eight facts you should know about post-fire restoration.

Read more

Share this post on social media


Like this content?

If you enjoy this article and find it useful, support the NFF to ensure we can continue helping you and others discover our National Forests.

Donate Now