Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Visiting the Darlingtonia Wayside

When Andrew proposed that we take a COVID-safe trip to the Oregon coast and mentioned going further south than we'd been before—maybe to Florence—my first thought was ...yes! Darlingtonia!

This small state park—just 18 acres—is the only Oregon state park property "dedicated to the protection of a single plant species. Concurrently, the plants it protects are the only carnivorous flora in the system." (source)

"Darlingtonia californica is a carnivorous plant native to Oregon and northern California’s few areas of boglands and meadows that have acidic soils with low nitrogen." (source)

The main event is just a short stroll across this bridge and through the trees...

Since I'd seen a few dozen skunk cabbage from the windows of the car, as we sped along the highways, it was nice to finally get a chance to snap a photo or two.

Ditto for the dear fern, Blechnum spicant.

I know skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is named for it's distinctive odor, but I was unable to smell a skunky smell.

Andrew for scale as we arrive at the boardwalk through/over the darlingtonia-scape...

And there they are!

Okay I won't lie. I really wanted to get down in there and clean things up. Yes it's true, I am a tidy gardener. All of those old bits need to be cleaned out so the newer bits could shine...

It was an impressive sight, so many in one place!

And the fact we could walk above them and not disturb was a nice thing.

The general wisdom is that in order to grow these plants successfully you need to not only meet their requirements for the proper soil acidity but that they need moving water, not river-type moving, but also not still. 

Several years ago I was given a division of the Darlingtonia californica growing at Floramagoria, thankfully I didn't know then just how challenging these are to grow. Ignorance can be a blessing! I plopped them in a non-draining container and they've done well for me ever since. I think maybe the fact I top off the water level frequently during the summer, with a spray from the hose, must help. Acting almost like moving water?...

More deer fern...

Headed back to the car now.

Mossy tree octopus!

To wrap up things I thought I would include a couple photos of my plants at home, from prior years. The blooms during the summertime...

And an arty shot of the insect-fooling windows at the tops of the cobra-like shaped plant.

Weather Diary, April 5: Hi 62, Low 36/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I don't think I've ever seen carnivorous plants in their native setting; very impressive, even if not quite as tidy as either one of us prefers. Just goes to show that nature doesn't require any of this tidiness, it's more for us and what appeals to our esthetic nature. The blooms in your home photo are quite remarkable!

    1. Ya, tidiness doesn't really seem to be a prerequisite for a happy plant habitat.

  2. What an incredible sight to see so many in one place. They kind of reminded me of children's sock puppets all chatting together. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There were a lot animated conversations underway!

  3. An entire botanic garden dedicated to a single plant is amazing! Being rather tidy myself, I understand the urge to clean up those beds but then maybe those conditions are useful in encouraging the plant's spread.

    I had a small Darlingtonia californica which perished during my short time up in Northern CA - BUT I plan on getting a rather large specimen from California Carnivores this year.

    How cool it is to see all those beautiful carnies up close, in the wild...

    May I have your permission to use one in a Post? With all the appropriate crediting, of course.

  5. Fascinating. This reminds me of The Ridges Sanctuary in Door County, which has acidic soils and a very unique habitat for plants, including some carnivorous ones. I'll put this place on my list for when I come visit the area.

  6. Wow, amazing looking plants and place! Lulu of Long Mizzle Garden x

  7. Bogs are wonderful and this one looks like a real gem. So glad someone had the foresight to protect it. To think that our predecessors used to think that wetlands and deserts were wastelands, ha!

    1. So sad! Tempting to think we've discovered the err of our ways but yet I don't think we have.

    2. Sadly, I fear you are right.

  8. Did you you stop at the other short pullout area on 199 to see more Darlingtonia
    ? We always stop and see those places heading to the coast

  9. Jeanne M DeBenedetti KeyesApril 13, 2021

    So love the Darlingtonia Wayside! Lovely pics, Loree. The flowers are just gorgeous. Can't beat those mossy trees. My Darlingtonias came through our ice/snow event but my sarracenias look pretty sad. Waiting to see if they survived!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!