While driving on US 101 along the southern Oregon coast with family, we stopped by a very unique attraction – The Darligntonia Wayside, a few miles north of Florence. This is a small park that you can find to your right immediately as you drive into the marked side-road off the highway. There is a sign-board with directions to the park. A short walk along a wooden structure leads you to an unusual concentration of the carnivorous plant called the California pitcher plant or the cobra-lily, with the biological name Darlingtonia Californica.
These strange serpent-shaped plants have an appendage below the curved hood where insects are attracted by the nectar, which leads them inside the hood. Once inside the hood, the insects get trapped as they are confused by the many transparent “windows” that they mistake to be exits. The insects fall into the lower part of the hood where downward pointing hairs prevent them from going back up, and eventually into the lower part of the stak at the bottom where they are digested by bacterial action. But what you can observe from outside is limited to the insects seeking nectar below the curved hood and entering the hood.
This is also a nice picnic stop if you are looking to take a little break while driving along the Oregon coast.