Cobra Lily

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Ease to Grow: Moderate to challenging
Dormancy: Required
Native Range: Serpentine streams of coastal Mts, CA/OR
Zones: 6-9 (5-10)

Darlingtonia californica or the Cobra Lily is in a class by itself among North American pitcher plants. It's tall, twisting lime-green tubes form a bulbous hood with numerous large windows. An appendage resembling a forked tongue hangs from the opening on the underside of the hood. Generally a lime-green, it develops a red tint in full sun. The hoods are richly laced with large white areoles (windows). Its traps are the most complex of all pitcher plants. Darlingtonia is clump forming, and with underground stolons, develops a nice colony in time. It grows in serpentine gravel soils along cold, fast running mountain streams in zones 9-6. It often grows in association with the butterwort Pinguicula macroceras nortensis. Darlingtonia struggles in cultivation where its roots are not kept wet and cool (50s°F). Despite this challenge, the Cobra Lily is a curious, and much sought-after specimen. Flowers are yellow and bell-shaped, resembling small Sarracenia. The small flowers are green and red. They generally bloom from April to July before the pitchers fully develop. Winter foliage stays green. Darlingtonia is named in honor of William Darlington, a 19th century botanist from Pennsylvania. It is a monospecific species. This stock is a mix of coastal and mountain forms of Darlingtonia. Our choice based on availability. Best growing success comes with keeping the roots cool.

Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant rhizome. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped.

Height: 6"- 40"
Plant Type: Perennial, temperate
Soil: Live Sphagnum Moss, Nepenthes Mix or All-Purpose Mix
Light: Bright indoors, full sun to partial sun outdoors
Use: Bog garden, greenhouse and indoors. Excellent accent plant.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Ken Bryant
Awesome Plant

The plant arrived in excellent condition and was stunning to see in person. Will buy again!


The plant arrived in well condition even after being poorly treated by mail carrier.


I purchased a small cobra lily and it arrived very quickly! The packaging was solid, which I was sceptical of since this one comes already potted. The lily arrived in good condition, though it definitely is stressing. The pitchers are browning but they are holding themselves up and the new growth looks healthy. Hopefully it will adjust well and be part of our ever growing carnivorous garden. Thank you!

Great little guy

I ordered these in the heat of summer for my daughter’s birthday and was very pleased when they arrived quickly and healthy!

Hal Michael
Cobra Lillies

These are my long-time favorite carnivore. We moved and I needed new ones. So far, they are growing slowly. Hard to know what the future holds but hopeful.

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