The Darlingtonia State Natural Site, situated just north of Florence, Oregon, is the “smallest” of our greatest wetlands but definitely memorable. In fact, John Bauer, TWC GIS Specialist, remembers this tiny spectacle as his first experience with a wetland as a young child on family coastal vacation 30 some years ago! The rare piece of wet and nutrient poor land provides the perfect location for the colorful carnivorous cobra lily, Darlingtonia californica. This incredible species with its cobra like neck lures, traps and digests insects to supplement its need for nitrogen! Cobra lilies are found in very few places in Oregon, which is why this small wet opening in the coastal forest is considered one of Oregon Greatest Wetlands.
While Oregon has larger Darlingtonia fens (including TWC’s own Ian Peterson-Nedry Preserve link), this site is the most accessible, open to the public with a great interpretive boardwalk for the curious visitors. Next time you are in the area don’t miss the chance to visit these incredible carnivorous plants. (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=81)