area has been set aside as a botanical preserve so that you may
observe Darlingtonia californica, an unusual plant which traps and
digests insects. Also known as Cobra-lily, Cobra-orchid, and Pitcher
Plant, its range varies from an elevation of 6,000 feet to sea level.
cobra-like plants, Darlingtonia Californica, are found natively
in the bog areas of Northern California and Southwestern Oregon.
They flower in May or June with hanging blooms of yellow and red
and produce up to a dozen leaves per plant. Erect seed pods remain
most of the summer.
are lured into the leaf opening under the hood by nectar in the
colorful 'petal-like' appendages and the edges of the opening. Once
inside the hood the insects become confused by the many transparent
areas in the upper parts of the leaves which appear as exits. Keeping
a foothold on the glassy smooth upper surface of the tube is difficult
and eventually the insects are trapped in the lower tube by sharp
downward pointing hairs. After falling into a pool of liquid at
the base of the leaf, the captive is digested and absorbed as food
through the plants thin lower walls.