From the Sunever Farms Instagram, photo by Stephanie…
These little guys are called ‘sand food’ and they’re coming up in patches near our Sonora cabin.
This flowering parasite is also known as Pholisma arenarium, Desert pholisma, Scaly stemmed Sand Plant, desert christmas tree, dune food or purple sandfood. Calflora says: “Pholisma arenarium, a dicot, is a perennial herb (parasitic) that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America.”
We’ve seen them every year starting in 2011, but this year is the first time we’ve had three patches.
Profile for Pholisma arenarium: USDA PLANTS