The Virbrant Blooming Snowplant – Yosemite National Park

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While on a spring hike along the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park I stumbled upon this flower. I had no idea what it was at the time – which is one of the things I love about nature. There is always something new to discover. This particular flower was shot near Nevada Falls. Which, if you’ve never had the opportunity to see, I highly recommend the hike to look over the plunging waterfall along the Merced River.

The bright flower is commonly known as the Snow Plant or Sarcodes. What’s interesting thing about this plant is that it actually grows underground and can’t produce the nutrients to make chlorophyll. In order to survive, the plant steals its nutrients from fungus near the base of a tree’s roots deep underground. From there the plant grows through the soil, without sunlight, and produces this vibrant red flower. These Snow Flowers can commonly be found during mid to late spring while the snow melt is in progress. It is commonly found in the higher mountainous elevations from northern Baja California and to southern Oregon.

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