Cobra Lily Facts
- The highly descriptive term Cobra Lily serves as the image-creating common name for a rather unique variety of carnivorous plant.
- Despite being considered rather uncommon in the wild, and having a highly limited and specific habitat range, the IUCN lists it as a species of Least Concern.
- Quite understandably, the common name derives from the strong resemblance of the leaves of the plant to a cobra preparing to strike.
- Rather mysteriously, the precise method of pollination of this species in the wild still remains completely unknown to researchers.
Cobra Lily Physical Description
The rather astonishing Cobra Lily ranks as a moderate-sized variety of carnivorous plant. It can also attain a height of about 33 in (85 cm), though most individuals remain smaller.
Several stalkless, hollow leaves develop, and grow to the same approximate length as the single flower that the plant produces atop a relatively thick stalk.
The leaves themselves also appear a rather light green in color while being streaked with numerous blood-red vein-like features which further add to the eerie appearance of the plant.
Further enhancing the resemblance to its namesake, the remarkable leaves also display a purplish-red appendage at the tip, resembling the forked tongue of a snake.
Species: D. californica
Cobra Lily Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Sadly, the rather amazing Cobra Lily possesses an extremely limited range of habitation. It only grows in the wild in certain portions of California and Oregon, in the United States, in North America.
Even more specific, however, is the habitat requirement of the species. It also only grows in seeps and bogs with cold running water and highly nutrient-poor soils.
As with other, related species, it also augments its limited ability to draw nourishment from the soil by gaining nourishment from insects it traps and digests.
However, it differs from all other pitcher plants in the Americas in one respect. It does not trap rainwater in its pitcher but instead draws it from its roots.