Rare plant found only around Shasta Lake gets state protection
The California Fish and Game Commission decided to list a small shrub with white flowers called the Shasta snow wreath as threatened under the state Endangered Species Act on Wednesday. The Shasta snow wreath has been found in just 26 locations around the lake. It’s thought to have evolved as long as 34 to 56 million years ago, and grew across the Pacific Northwest. But the plant has since retreated to small, isolated pockets around the lake. The rare plant wasn’t discovered by scientists until 1992. It looks similar to other common shrubs in the area, and the U.S. Forest Service says the flowers – a common way to identify a plant – last for a very short period. The snow wreath is also often found growing among poison oak, which may help explain why the plant has managed to hide in plain sight for so long.