Did you know that you don’t have to travel far to come face to face with hundreds of cobras? In fact, this type of cobra only lives in Northern California and Southern Oregon. These are the only cobras safe for kids to be around because this is not your ordinary cobra, this cobra is a predatory plant known as the cobra lily (Darlingtonia californica) and it loves to live in pine bog areas with nutrient poor soils that lack nitrogen. The cobra lily gets its nitrogen by eating insects.
Cobra Lily does not actively trap its prey like a flytrap does but lures its prey with sugary nectar that are on its pitcher-shaped traps. Once the insect is inside it gets disoriented from the transparent light shining on the top of the dome and often times gets tired and falls or climbs down into the tube. The tube is covered with hairs which stops the insects from climbing back out.
Butterfly Valley Botanical Area
Butterfly Valley Botanical Area is a botanical paradise. Since cobra lily roots cannot tolerate temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this area is perfect for it because of the cool water on the ground. There are 3 other species of insectivorous plants in the area: common and lesser bladderworts, and round-leaved sundew. The best time to visit is in May, June, or July. When visiting you will want to wear covered shoes if you don’t want to get wet or dirty.
Trailhead is located off FS Road 25N47 (Bog Rd.). 3.5 miles north of the town Quincy on highway 70/89 off of Blackhawk Road. Immediately after passing the sign “Butterfly Botanical Area” you will see Fern Glen on the left.
This is the largest carnivorous plant nursery in the United States. We have been here a few times and we are always in awe of how beautiful and unique these carnivorous plants really are. Here you can purchase your very own cobra lily and ask the experts questions on how to care for your carnivorous plant.
Located at : 2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy Sebastopol, Ca 95472. They are opened Thursday through Monday from 10 am until 4 pm.
Hands on Learning
We had so much fun identifying the cobra lily and dissecting it. We also received a white and yellow trumpet to dissect. The cobra lily was kept inside so it did not have any insects but the yellow and white trumpets were packed with insects. Watch the video below to see our kiddos dissecting the carnivores we received from California Carnivores.
Have you ever seen a cobra lily?
Thank you for reading our post. Don’t forget to subscribe. We are always learning new things and going places.
We share a new post every Monday and Thursday, 1 pm Pacific Time.