Darlingtonia - Encyclopedia

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DARLINGTONIA (called after William Darlington, an American botanist), a Californian pitcher-plant, belonging to the order Sarraceniaceae. There is only one species, D. californica, which is found at 5000 ft. altitude on the Sierra Nevadas of California, growing in sphagnum-bogs along with sundews and rushes.

Darlingtonia californica. The pitcher-like leaves form a cluster, and are i to 2 ft. high, slender, erect, and end in a rounded hooded top, from which hangs a blade shaped like a fish-tail which guards the entrance to the pitcher. Insects are attracted to the leaves by the bright colouring, especially of the upper part; entering they pass down the narrow funnel guided by downward pointing hairs which also prevent their ascent. They form a putrefying mass in the bottom of the pitcher, and the products of their decomposition are presumably absorbed by the leaf for food.

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