Snow Plant-like species excite Ayn Ayoon visitors

Muscat: It is for the botanists to decide whether a flower species found in the interiors of Dhofar is ‘Snow Plant’ or some other species very close to it. The plant attracted the attention of some plantsmen during their random trip to Ayn Ayoon.

Since they had seen the original Snow Plant, they were confused as to how this rare and protected plant is available in abundance in a particular area.

“Since I have seen the original Snow Plant, I am totally confused over the similarity and features, but I am not sure because I just love plants and I am not a botanist,” said Dr Sandeep Ojha, a senior faculty member at a higher education institution in Salalah.

A keen traveller, Dr Sandeep, has an interest in plants also. Soon after spotting the beautiful red flowers of the plant, he tried to find out its origin to which his some of his European colleagues said the plant looked like Snow Plant, a genus of north-west America.

The uniqueness of the plant that flowers in springtime, rests in its ability to derive nutrition from fungi underneath the soil, as the plant itself does not have chlorophyll.

Plant experts call it a rare and is protected plant. The plant has its botanical name ‘Sarcodes sanguinea’ that is more admired by tourists than any other plant in California. It is red in colour, fleshy in texture with asparagus shoot.