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Barry A. Rice

Perennial herb, generally from slender rhizome, short caudex, or stolon; carnivorous; roots poorly developed. Leaf: in basal rosette, prostrate to erect, each forming a tubular pitcher with fluid that digests captured prey by enzymes, bacteria, or other organisms, with stiff, reflexed hairs within. Inflorescence: scapose, flower generally 1. Flower: bisexual, radial, nodding; sepals 5 [4–6], generally free; petals 5 [0]; stamens many; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 5, incomplete above or not, placentas generally axile, style 1, 5-lobed, umbrella-like or not, stigma terminal or under tips of style lobes. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal; valves generally 5. Seed: many, flattened-ovoid, smooth, or club-like, papillate [winged].
3 genera, 24 species: northern California, Oregon, British Columbia, eastern North America, northern South America, especially acidic bogs, streamsides, moist areas; often planted outside native ranges by horticulturists but generally not invasive. [Schnell 2002 Carnivorous Plants of US and Can. Timber Press] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Sarraceniaceae


1 sp. (William Darlington, Philadelphia botanist, 1782–1863)

D. californica Torr.
Rhizomed; stolons ± 1 m. Leaf: nearly erect, 1–6(10) dm, green-yellow to deep red, enlarged upward; pitcher top opening underneath, tube with non-digestive fluids within; appendages yellow or green to purple. Inflorescence: < 1 m; scape bracts yellow. Flower: sepals 4–6 cm, oblong to oblanceolate, yellow-green, purple-tinged or not; petals 2–4 cm, narrowly ovate, yellow-green between wide, dark purple veins (variant lacking purple veins in Nevada Co.); stamens 12–15 in 1 whorl; ovary tip truncate or concave, style 2–3 mm, deeply 5-lobed, stigmas 5. Fruit: 2.5–4.5 cm, obovoid. Seed: ± 2 mm, papillate, light red-brown.
2n=30. Seeps, boggy places with running water, generally serpentine; 60–2200 m. Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges (introduced, Mendocino Co.), n High Sierra Nevada (c Plumas, Sierra, Nevada cos.); western Oregon; planted elsewhere. [Chrysamphora californica (Torr.) Greene] Pollinator the bee Andrena nigrihirta, possibly also an arachnid; digestion in leaves by bacteria, arthropods, not by plant enzymes. Pitcher resembling cobra with fangs or forked tongue. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Darlingtonia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Darlingtonia californica
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Sherry Ballard 1999 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Darlingtonia californica Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.