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Sarcodes sanguinea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SarcodesView Description 

Common Name: SNOW PLANT

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: flesh-like, from red inflorescence)

Sarcodes sanguinea Torr.
Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, +- red, fleshy, glandular-hairy; roots thick, brittle. Stem: 0. Leaf: 0. Inflorescence: raceme, generally 1.5--3 dm, stout, bright red to orange-red, emerging from ground erect, persistent after seed dispersal; axis generally > 1 cm just below lowest flower; bracts < 8 cm, margins long-ciliate; bractlets 0. Flower: sepals 5, free; corolla urn-shaped, petals 5, +- 3/4 fused, 12--18 mm, red; stamens 10, anthers < 4 mm, dehiscing by short separate slits, unawned; nectaries +- visible at ovary base; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas axile, style < 8 mm, stigma 2--3 mm wide, head-like. Fruit: capsule, < 2.5 cm wide, indehiscent, brittle. Seed: many per chamber, < 1 mm wide, ovate, unwinged. Chromosomes: 2n=64.
Ecology: Conifer or mixed forest; Elevation: 700--3100 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SCoRO, TR, PR, MP; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon, Nevada, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: May--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
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botanical illustration including Sarcodes sanguinea


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2016. Sarcodes sanguinea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2014 California Academy of Sciences
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2016 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Sarcodes sanguinea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sarcodes sanguinea:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.