Darlingtonia Natural Site
Story by Colette Kimball, Photos by Rick Obst
Just off Highway 101, near the north end of Florence, sits a bog full of plants which are so rare that
the State of Oregon maintains an 18-acre botanical park to protect them. The plants are the Darlingtonia californica, more commonly known as a “Cobra Lilly” or “Pitcher Plant.” plants from a boardwalk over the bog. at any time of the year, the best time to The Darlingtonia Natural Site visit may be in the late spring or early includes a quarter-mile-long loop trail While seeing the rare insect-eating plants growing in the wild is enjoyable summer when the plants are in bloom. that provides excellent views of the Life in a bog, where there are few nutrients in the soil, can be hard for a plant. The Darlingtonia has adapted by “eating” insects. The process is rather simple: insects are attracted into the plant’s “mouths” by sweet-smelling nectar. Once inside, the insects become confused and can’t find their way back out. Eventually, they slide to the base of the plant where they drown in a pool of fluid. As the insect bodies break down, they release nutrients which the plant absorbs. Theses carnivorous flora have been called, ‘eerily spectacular!’
Formerly known as the Darlingtonia Wayside, the Darlingtonia Natural Site is located just east of Highway 101, five miles north of Florence. It is conveniently close to the coast highway and makes for an easy stop.
Oregon Community Connection Magazine Spring 2016 Edition