Tuesday, May 3, 2011


So, super cool thing. While driving south after my trip home to the Seattle area, I stopped at a Botanical Trail along highway 199. For the last few months I've been poking around on the internet, trying to find out where one can go to see the carnivorous plants that are native to Northern California. This botanical trail is one of the few easily accessible areas. And it is super accessible--you pull off the 199, walk for just a few minutes, and you find yourself looking at a vast expanse of pitcher plants.

I was certainly not expecting to see such a magnitude of pitcher plants. Their name is Darlingtonia california, and they're found only in Northern California and Oregon.
You'll notice that the plants look different than most pitcher plants do. Instead of being open at the top to catch rainwater, these pitcher plants curve downward. This explains one where the common name of cobra lily comes from. They do appear to release enzymes to break down prey that is captured inside the plant. Interestingly, the cells inside the pitcher that absorb the nutrients are the same as those that absorb nutrients at the roots.
They are pretty neat, if I may say so myself! I highly recommend that anyone driving on the 199 from Grants Pass to Crescent City try to stop and check it out! The Darlingtonia Trail is only a short walk, and it's a good chance to get out and stretch your legs in the middle of a long drive. The botanical trail signs are about 15 miles NE of Gasquet--pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

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