Creature Feature: Albino Redwood

This week, we are looking at a creature you certainly don’t see every day. The rare albino redwood! (Sequoia sempervirens) Albino redwoods are white because they lack chlorophyll, the pigment that makes leaves colorful and which absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis. If these trees aren’t able to photosynthesize, then how are they still alive? Redwoods connect their roots with one another to exchange sap, which makes it possible for albino mutants to survive. They will often grow as an offshoot from a larger tree, which will provide it with the nutrients it needs through sap exchange.
 
There’s a reason you’ve probably never come across an albino redwood before–there are estimated to be only 400 in existence! They have been recorded at Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz. Their locations are kept secret to avoid heavy traffic and human interference that could cause harm. The best way to enjoy these rare and beautiful trees is with a Google Images search!
 
PC: Jay Joslin on Flickr
Sources: Wikipedia – Albino Redwood