When we were in Yosemite a couple of years ago, we encountered this curious looking plant on the McGurk Meadow trail.
At the time, we couldn’t figure out what it was. Today, I found out that it is a Sarcodes sanguinea or Snow Plant. It’s a really interesting plant. It’s related to blueberries and cranberries, but it has a completely different lifestyle. It has no chlorophyll, and doesn’t use photosynthesis. Instead, it has a complex relationship with a fungus that grows around its roots.
It was kind of late in the season when we found it, so the seeds were pretty well developed. As you can see here, it looks even more dramatic when it first comes up.