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Darlingtonia californica; Calf's Head   

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Darlingtonia californica
Darlingtonia californica
Calf's Head
Photographer: Gerald and Buff Corsi
Collection: CalAcademy

ID: 6666 6666 0713 0079 (2013-07-16)

Copyright © 2013 California Academy of Sciences

  • date of photo  Jun 20, 2012
  • location   Six Rivers National Forest (Del Norte County, California, US)
  • family Sarraceniaceae
  • notes   California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica): This insectivorous species is one of ten in the relict family Sarraceniaceae, and the only member of its genus that still survives on Earth. Northwest California is a refuge for this species; here it survives as a hold-out of the ancient Tertiary forests that dominated the northern hemisphere millions of years ago. The cobra lily also supplements its diet by trapping insects but this species entices them inside the stem where its victims endure a slow death—by incarceration. Instead of its leaves or stems producing an enzyme to deal with digestion, the pitcher plant harbors bacteria and protozoa inside its 'pitcher.' In a symbiotic relationship, the digestion is done by microbes and nutrients are shared. This species is restricted to fens, which are spring fed wetlands. It is often incorrectly stated that pitcher plants live in bogs—a rare habitat in California which consists of standing water and an accumulations of acidic peat.
  • CalAcademy slide #   California Pitcher Plant 120620 _D802081
  • photo category: Plant - annual/perennial
  • original filename: California Pitcher Plant 120620 _D802081.jpg

  • common names   Calf's Head, California Pitcherplant, Cobra Lily, Cobra Plant (photographer)
  • Look for Jepson Manual treatments, maps (University & Jepson Herbaria)
  • View Calflora record for Darlingtonia californica
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  • The photographer's identification Darlingtonia californica has not been reviewed. Click here to review or comment on the identification.

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