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Darlingtonia californica
COBRA LILY

SKU: 1077-020
Regular price 7.99
Unit price
per

Description

Darlingtonia californica, also called the California pitcher plant, cobra lily, or cobra plant, is a species of carnivorous plant. It is native to Northern California and Oregon growing in bogs and seeps with cold running water. As such, it is a good idea to water this plant with cold water to keep the roots cool. Excessive heat may damage the plant. This plant is designated as uncommon due to its rarity in the field.

The name "cobra lily" stems from the resemblance of its tubular leaves to a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf - ranging from yellow to purplish-green - that resemble fangs or a serpent's tongue.

In cultivation in the UK this plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Note the small entrance to the trap underneath the swollen 'balloon', and the colorless patches that confuse prey trapped inside.

The cobra plant is not only restricted to nutrient-poor acidic bogs and seepage slopes, but many colonies actually thrive in ultramafic soils, which are in fact basic soils, within its range. In common with most carnivorous plants, the cobra lily is adapted to supplementing its nitrogen requirements through digesting insects, which helps to compensate for the lack of available nitrogen in such habitats.

In addition to the use of lubricating secretions and downward-pointing hairs common to all North American pitcher plants to force their prey into the trap, this species carefully hides the tiny exit hole from trapped insects by curling it underneath and offering multiple translucent false exits. Upon trying many times to leave via the false exits, the insect will tire and fall down into the trap. The slippery walls and hairs prevent the trapped prey from escaping. The only other species that utilizes this technique is the Parrot Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia psittacina.

Like many other carnivorous plants of temperate regions, cobra lilies require a cold winter dormancy to live long-term. Plants die down to their rhizomes in frigid winters and will maintain their leaves in cool winters during their dormancy period. This period lasts from 3 to 5 months during the year, and all growth stops. As spring approaches, mature plants may send up a single, nodding flower, and a few weeks later the plant will send up a few large pitchers. The plant will continue to produce pitchers throughout the summer, however much smaller than the early spring pitchers.

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 6-10 planted outdoors, or grow indoors.

Height: 12-36"

Seeds per pack: 20

Germination: Start these seeds right away for best germination rates. Fill the container with a mix of peat and perlite at a 1:1 ratio. Place the seeds on the surface of the pre-dampened mix, and gently water with a spray bottle. Cover with clear plastic, and place your container in a cool area (but not freezing) for 6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature, and in bright light for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Most seedlings will sprout within 2-3 months of the warming period, though some may take a little longer. Once plants sprout, slowly remove the plastic, a little bit each day. Always keep the soil slightly moist, never letting it dry out. 

After germination, if a peat/perlite mix had been used, it would be beneficial to transplant them into long fiber sphagnum moss.

Darlingtonia californica
COBRA LILY

SKU: 1077-020
Regular price 7.99
Unit price
per
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Description

Darlingtonia californica, also called the California pitcher plant, cobra lily, or cobra plant, is a species of carnivorous plant. It is native to Northern California and Oregon growing in bogs and seeps with cold running water. As such, it is a good idea to water this plant with cold water to keep the roots cool. Excessive heat may damage the plant. This plant is designated as uncommon due to its rarity in the field.

The name "cobra lily" stems from the resemblance of its tubular leaves to a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf - ranging from yellow to purplish-green - that resemble fangs or a serpent's tongue.

In cultivation in the UK this plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Note the small entrance to the trap underneath the swollen 'balloon', and the colorless patches that confuse prey trapped inside.

The cobra plant is not only restricted to nutrient-poor acidic bogs and seepage slopes, but many colonies actually thrive in ultramafic soils, which are in fact basic soils, within its range. In common with most carnivorous plants, the cobra lily is adapted to supplementing its nitrogen requirements through digesting insects, which helps to compensate for the lack of available nitrogen in such habitats.

In addition to the use of lubricating secretions and downward-pointing hairs common to all North American pitcher plants to force their prey into the trap, this species carefully hides the tiny exit hole from trapped insects by curling it underneath and offering multiple translucent false exits. Upon trying many times to leave via the false exits, the insect will tire and fall down into the trap. The slippery walls and hairs prevent the trapped prey from escaping. The only other species that utilizes this technique is the Parrot Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia psittacina.

Like many other carnivorous plants of temperate regions, cobra lilies require a cold winter dormancy to live long-term. Plants die down to their rhizomes in frigid winters and will maintain their leaves in cool winters during their dormancy period. This period lasts from 3 to 5 months during the year, and all growth stops. As spring approaches, mature plants may send up a single, nodding flower, and a few weeks later the plant will send up a few large pitchers. The plant will continue to produce pitchers throughout the summer, however much smaller than the early spring pitchers.

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 6-10 planted outdoors, or grow indoors.

Height: 12-36"

Seeds per pack: 20

Germination: Start these seeds right away for best germination rates. Fill the container with a mix of peat and perlite at a 1:1 ratio. Place the seeds on the surface of the pre-dampened mix, and gently water with a spray bottle. Cover with clear plastic, and place your container in a cool area (but not freezing) for 6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature, and in bright light for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Most seedlings will sprout within 2-3 months of the warming period, though some may take a little longer. Once plants sprout, slowly remove the plastic, a little bit each day. Always keep the soil slightly moist, never letting it dry out. 

After germination, if a peat/perlite mix had been used, it would be beneficial to transplant them into long fiber sphagnum moss.