DARLINGTONIA CALIFORNICA—California Pitcher Plant (Darlingto'nia). A tender herbaceous plant with funnel-shaped leaves, about 2 ft. in length and hooded at the apex, forming pitchers. These pitchers are for the purpose of catching insects which are attracted inside by honey-bearing glands, and afterwards prevented from escaping by downward-pointing hairs inside the tubes, which allow them to enter but bar their exit. The bodies of the insects are dissolved, and taken into the plants by a digestive fluid secreted inside the pitchers. Darlingtonia is a native of California and belongs to the family Sarraceniaceae. It is named after Dr. William Darlington, an American botanist.
For a Cool Greenhouse. Darlingtonias may be grown in deep, well-drained pans, in a compost of equal parts of peat, chopped sphagnum moss, sand and small pieces of limestone. The plants are potted in April, and the compost is kept moist at all times, although much less water is required during the winter. They are grown in a cool greenhouse or cold frame during the winter, but no protection is needed in summer.
Treatment Out of Doors. They may be grown out of doors in a damp position, such as in a bog garden or among hardy ferns. They are hardy in the North if protected in winter with a covering of evergreen branches or leaves. A compost similar to that used for potting is required. Planting is done in May.
Propagation is by side shoots which are detached in summer, set in small pots and kept under a bell jar until established; or by seeds sown in pots on the surface of finely chopped compost similar to that advised for potting. The pots should stand in saucers of water until the seedlings are large enough to transplant.