Darlingtonia californica

A monotypic genus of pitcher plants from northern California and Oregon.  These pitcher plants use a lighting trick to help them capture prey.  Unlike most pitcher plants, Darlingtonia leaves are closed at the top and are dome-shaped.  Within the structure of the dome, there are dozens to hundreds of small, clear areas called fenestrations.  Like with stained glass, the fenestrations conduct light inside the dome.  After being enticed by nectar to enter through a darkened hole at the bottom, insects see the light and assume the direction toward the light is the way out, however when they hit the top of the dome and fall, they fall down a long tunnel lined with downward pointing hairs from which there is no escape.

All photographs by Thomas K. Hayes at Dangerousplants.com.

From the Ablion Bog in Mendocino County, California.  Click on the plant in the foreground.
Click here!

Photos from various locations in Oregon:

An unidentified companion species.

From Darlingtonia Wayside, Gasquet, CA:

We followed the seep feeding Wayside back up the hill for these two shots:

From the Ablion Bog in Mendocino County, California.  Click on the left flower.
Click on the flower