Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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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, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SarcodesView Description 

Common Name: SNOW PLANT

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: flesh-like, from red inflorescence)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
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
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary D. Wallace
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Sarcodes sanguinea

botanical illustration including Sarcodes sanguinea


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2012, Sarcodes sanguinea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=43234, accessed on September 29, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 29, 2020.

Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2014 California Academy of Sciences
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2011 Barry Rice
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Sarcodes sanguinea
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© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Sarcodes sanguinea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sarcodes sanguinea:
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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.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).