|Image: David Iliff|
|Image: Dan and Raymond|
Copse of corpse
|Image: Jacob Kirkland|
Pillars of blood-dripping flesh
It's Sarcodes sanguinea. Sarcodes meaning 'flesh-like', and sanguinea meaning 'bloody'.
|Image: Jim Morefield|
Flowers of flesh. Petals of blood
Mostly California. Snowplants live in coniferous forests some 1,000 to 3,100 metres (3,300 to 10,200 ft) up mountains in California and neighbouring areas of Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.
|Image: Jimmy Harris|
Devil eggs! Or budding Snowplants, all wrapped up in strap-like bracts
It's rare for them to grow while the snow is still on the ground, so maybe the 'snow' part of the name isn't entirely accurate. Despite appearances, the 'plant' bit is perfectly accurate!
|Image: Liam O'Brien|
Evil, grim butterfly of death visits the Forest of Flesh
The spike is covered in lots and lots of dangling, bell-shaped flowers which burst from strap-like bracts, ready for pollination by insects. The fruits start out bright and fleshy but then become brown and brittle. The seeds inside are released through a little hole that opens in the fruit.
|Image: Jon Sullivan|
Fruit! Of blood and death
Like them, the Snowplant doesn't do its own photosynthesis. Instead, it lets conifer trees do all the hard work and steals the delicious results from them. Except they don't quite do that. Conifers have a sort of trading agreement with certain fungi in the soil. The fungi grow around the conifer's roots and provide that mighty tree with water and minerals. In return, the conifer provides sugars to the fungi.
Bloody, flesh-like thieves. Why don't they steal some skin?
Can you believe that? It's not just a bloody Sarcodes, it's a bloody thief!