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Cobra Lily: characteristics, growing and planting conditions and care that should be taken.




The scientific name for the most common cobra lily is Darlingtonia californica. It is also called the California pitcher plant and deelicks. The Arisaema genus has plants that also sometimes use the name cobra lily.

Characteristics of Cobra Lily

– The Cobra Lily lives in southwestern Oregon and northern California.
– This carnivorous plant lures its insect prey with a sweet smell which is inside the leaf opening.
– Once inside, the insect becomes confused by the many areas that look like exits.
– As the insect checks these false exits searching for an escape place, it is led down the tube structure and is unable to return to the top of the plant because of the slippery smooth surface of the inner tube and the sharp, downward pointing hairs which block any chance of escape. – Eventually, the insects will fall into a pool of liquid digestive acids in the base of the leaf.
– A Cobra Lily may grow to four feet tall, so eventually you will need to find a much larger container to use.
– Cobra Lilies like cool root systems.

Growing conditions for Cobra Lily

– Cobra Lilies like bright light but not direct sunlight.
– Ideally, they should be grown in living moss.
– Cobra lilies are native to boggy areas. They should be grown in soil that is always moist.
– High humidity is not nearly as important for these plants as it is for certain other carnivorous plants, but a certain amount of humidity should be maintained.
– Although Cobra Lilies can withstand temperatures as low as freezing or as high as 100 degrees, the good growing temperature should be between 70 and 80 degrees, with night temperatures being about 20 degrees cooler.
– Watering is by far the most important aspect of keeping your Cobra Lily healthy.
– Its natural habitat is in swampy areas, near mountain streams where it stays relatively cool and constantly has cool water running over the root system.
– Do not fertilize your plant!
– Cobra Lilies have a large, extensive root system with branching runners that will produce new plants at their ends. They should be planted in a large pot.

Carnivorous Mechanism

The cobra lily forms a specialized leaf in the shape of a pitcher. Additional leaves give off a sweet smell that attracts insects. They wander inside the pitcher and get trapped in a pool of liquid. They are digested by bacteria and insects that have adapted to live in harmony with the cobra lily and share the nutrients.





1 comment to Cobra Lily: characteristics, growing and planting conditions and care that should be taken.

  • Curt

    The leaves of my cobra lily are turning brown. I keep the post sitting in a cup of water that is constantly full. I do not have it in direct sunlight although I did for awhile. I bought it about a month ago but it doesn’t seem like it’s doing very well. Any suggestions?

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