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Darlingtonia californica is often confused with:
Sarracenia psittacina Sarracenia psittacina
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Dionaea muscipula Dionaea muscipula
Impatiens pallida Impatiens pallida
Eriogonum umbellatum

Cobra Plant Darlingtonia californica

Phonetic Spelling
dar-ling-TOH-nee-a kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh
Description

California Pitcher Plant is a carnivorous, herbaceous perennial plant native to the coastal bogs and mountain streams of the west coast of Oregon south to California. The plant has large tubular leaves that trap water which attracts insects that the plant digests and gains nutrients from. The insects, or other small organisms, are attracted to the nectar secreted by the hood and appendages and enter the hole beneath the hood. Once inside, numerous down-pointing hairs prevent escape and they are decomposed by microorganisms in the fluid in the tubular base. Nutrients thus released are absorbed by the plant  Pitcher plants typically need these nutrients because the wet boggy soils they grow in do not provide enough nutrients to sustain the plant.

The California Pitcher Plant is very attractive in the wild and eagerly sought for cultivation; however, it is difficult to grow outside its cool native range and has exacting requirements for temperature and humidity and wet, bog-like conditions. It was discovered in 1841 on the Wilkes Expedition by the assistant botanist, W. D. Brackenridge, growing in a marsh bordering a tributary on the Sacramento River south of Shasta Peak. It is currently threatened by habitat disruption and unscrupulous collectors, although the Pitcher Plant and some eastern American species of carnivorous plants have been transplanted into sites in northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#carnivorous#herbaceous perennials#difficult to grow#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#boggy sites
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#carnivorous#herbaceous perennials#difficult to grow#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#boggy sites
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Darlingtonia
    Species:
    californica
    Family:
    Sarraceniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Oregon and California
    Distribution:
    West coast of British Columbia and the state of Washington.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Carnivorous
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Ascending
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Capsules in appear in late summer, early fall and seed is dispersed throughout the winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    One yellow-green and maroon flower blossoms from April to August and hangs at the tip of a leafless stalk. One to two inch sepals yellow-green with petals reddish brown with darker, larger veins.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Clusters of tubular leaves with hooded tops.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Attracts:
    Predatory Insects