Redwoods in Jedediah Smith Park

Darlingtonia aka Cobra Lily, and Trail Option

Carnivorous native plant near the redwood coast

Darlingtonia Trail available near mile marker 17.9 off Hy. 199

Continued from: Coast Redwoods Main Page



Copyright 2015 by M. D. Vaden

This plant is so unusual and close to the redwoods, that I am lumping this plant, bog and short trail into the redwood parks trails. The drive to the bog follows along the Smith River, which also passes through Jedediah Smith redwoods anyway. So its all interrelated.

Darlingtonia californica, or Cobra Lily. It can be found near the coast redwood forest, and also be seen to the side of the road within a mile of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, approaching through the Douglas Park Rd., a couple minutes before the park gate, after you turn off Hy. 199.

Darlingtonia Trail / Six Rivers National Forest / length 1000 ft. loop

Hy 199, mile marker 17.9

There is also a bog and trail about 10 minutes drive east of Jedediah Smith redwoods along Hy. 199, near mile post 17.9 .... yes, "seventeen point nine" ... rather than eighteen. This trail begins right off Highway 199 at milepost 17.9, between Panther Flat Campground and Grassy Flat Campground. Look for the Botanical Trail signs on the highway and take the short paved driveway to the parking area. It

This is the only species in the genus. It is also called Cobra Lily, Cobra Plant or California Pitcher Plant. The plant was discovered in 1841 by the botanist William D. Brackenridge at Mount Shasta, CA. In 1853 it was described by John Torrey, who named the genus Darlingtonia after a Philadelphia botanist. In common with most carnivorous plants, the cobra lily is adapted to supplementing nitrogen through carnivory, which helps compensate lack of available nitrogen.

Because many carnivorous species live in hostile environments, their root systems are commonly as highly modified as their leaves. The cobra lily is able to survive fire by regenerating from its roots, but despite this i role the roots are delicate.

The cobra lily is unique among American pitcher plants. It does not trap rainwater in its pitcher. It regulates water inside by releasing or absorbing water into the trap that has been pumped up from the roots. The efficiency of the plant's trapping ability is attested to by its leaves and pitchers, which are, more often than not, full of insects and their remains.


Images: 1st image shows picher leaves and flower, 2nd image shows several flowers in foreground


Cobra Lily in Coast Redwood Forest

Darlingtonia in Coast Redwood Forest