This wonderful, bizarre, insectiverous plant bears graceful, attractive, nodding, yellowish-green flowers, heavily veined crimson, which appear in spring. Although perhaps seen at its gruesome best in a greenhouse, it is hardy, and grows best in acidic moist soil or moss, a choice it often makes in the wild in its native home of Northern California and Oregon, where it thrives in bogs and wet spots in cold running water. It positively must not be fed with artificial fertiliser, especially nitrogen and phosphates, which will kill it. It obtains essential nutrients from insects which it lures into its digestive juice-filled traps!
Seeds are best sown at any time of year onto damp sphagnum moss, or a loose friable mixture of damp peat moss with some grit added. Do not employ artificial heat and use no added fertiliser. Do not allow tiny germinating seedlings to dry out.
Common name:California Pitcher plant, Cobra lily, Cobra plant