Carnivorous plants are plants that get most of their nutrients from their prey which are usually insects. They get the nutrients from them once they have trapped and digested these insects. These plants have also adapted growing in bad conditions or in places where the soil is poor in nutrients like nitrogen or acidic bogs. Acidic bogs are a wetland that collects a deposit of dead plant material like mosses, and in some cases, sphagnum moss.
This seeds of Cobra Lily is a species of the carnivorous plants. Cobra Lily is also called California pitcher plant, or cobra plant with Darlingtonia californica as its scientific name. It is the only member of the genus Darlingtonia in the family Sarraceniaceae and is native to Northern California and Southern Oregon. This plant is classified as uncommon because of its rarity in the field and also because it is the only one species within its genus. Unlike other carnivorous plants, this plant does not trap rainwater in its pitcher. Cobra Lily has obtained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in cultivation in the UK.
This plant was discovered by a botanist named William D. Brackenridge in 1841 at Mount Shasta. But it was John Torrey, an American botanist, who first described Darlingtonia californica in 1853. To honor his friend, he then named the genus Darlingtonia after the Philadelphian botanist William Darlington.
This carnivorous plant got its name Cobra Lily because of its resemblance to a cobra. Its tubular leaves along with its forked leaf resemble the fangs or the tongue of a serpent. It grows in bogs and soaks with cold running water. Cobra Lily suits cool weather that is why the roots need to be kept cool. This can be done by watering the plant regularly or by giving its roots some ice cubes. Cobra Lilies typically grow an average of 18-24 inches. However, some cobra lilies can also grow up to 4 feet tall.
The Cobra Lily plant has a balloon-like cover that conceals a small entrance to its trap. This plant produces a sweet sticky substance which attracts insects and a balloon chamber with colorless patches that confuses the prey. Once the prey is trapped inside, they will try to escape from the plant’s false exits. While trying, they will be moved deeper inside until they eventually fall into the plant’s pitcher and get trapped in its hairs. They will then be digested giving the plant its most needed essential nutrients.
Cobra Lily is a plant that is nice to have because of its uniqueness as well as its fascinating fangs. Its color ranges from yellow or light green to purple, and blooms in late spring or early summer. The hardiness zone of this plant is 7-10. It can be placed indoors and preferably planted in light-colored containers to minimize heat absorption. When planting, use airy soil to keep its roots in cool temperature and give the plants at least 15 to 18 inches plant space. Place it in a cool spot like the entrance or under some shade when growing it outside because it only needs light to full sun shade. Cobra Lilies like it cool so use cool water especially during summer and water it overhead to flush the roots.
Darlingtonia californica or Cobra Lily is an easy and gratifying plant to grow because it is one of a kind carnivorous plant. Just be sure to place it in the right position and keep it cool when the temperature gets warm.