Situated south of Yachats and north of Florence, is the home of an unusual plant – the only carnivorous plant in the West Coast system. Carnivorous plants are as captivating as they are rare. There is something about the image of a plant eating a bug that makes the imagination wonder – if it were larger, could it be dangerous to people?
Darlingtonia Californica, also called the cobra lily, is a strange-looking plant with yellowish-green hooded leaves that form 10- to 20-inch hollow tubes. A hidden opening into the hood of the stock emits a nectar that attracts bugs. After crawling inside to investigate the irresistible smell, insects become confused by the transparent areas that appear to be exits. Downward-pointing hairs make crawling out challenging, and the insect eventually falls further into the plant. At the bottom is a pool in which the insect decomposes and is absorbed into the plant.
The Darlingtonia State Natural Site offers the opportunity to see these amazing plants, as their habitat is typically not easily accessible. Learn more about this amazing plant by watching this video and see where it most commonly grows. You can also find more about the natural site here.