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While exploring Darlingtonias with my friend Rob Co, we found a site in Del Norte Co, CA that seems to be isolated from the rest of the populations that are normally found in the area. This is found at around 5,000 feet above sea-level, so I suppose it's considered a montane habitat. Fortunately, it hadn't snowed yet, so we lucked out and were able to see this site. In previous years, snow prevented us from being able to see the higher elevation plants. The site was extensive, and if I had to guess, there were probably more than 20,000 plants here. IT seems when they put in the road and drainage, it destroyed the fen that was downhill, but uphill, the fen was thriving! The artificial ditch became an ideal habitat for these plants as indicated by the dense population that covers it.

There were 4 or 5 different seeps that all drained into the roadside ditch, and surprisingly, this location was relatively close to the top of the mountain. It faced the east side, so the plants are likely shaded in the late afternoon, which helps keep the site cool.

All photos taken 10/11/13:

"Hey Rob!" The moment he turned his head, click:


These plants were densely populating the roadside ditch:


An extensive population: every last square inch that could be colonized had a plant:


One of the fens or seeps that fed into the roadside ditch:


Another seep in the same area:


more habitat shots:


Water is constantly running from the hillside. Check out those plants hanging on the cliff! The old pitchers from previous years eventually becomes substrate:


Closer shot: notice how they're growing on almost pure, alluvial rock:


Densely packed:


The plants at this site were "normal" in giants like I've seen elsewhere, but they can vary in size from year to year. In other words, they still could get giant:


Another habitat shot:


And now for some close-ups-diversity was decent here:



Some slightly red ones:



Nice green bodies with a contrasting red tongue:


Now, you may think, OMG, a very yellow clone! While we did find plants that were very yellow (and likely due to genetics), this one was water stressed and growing in a very dry area. Notice the damage on the pitcher from a lack of water perhaps a month or two ago:


Still, it's quite incredible:


One last shot:


A nice clone:


Edited by meizwang

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Great photography! That gives us more of idea of the conditions they grow in. Do you know what the soil characteristics are?

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Thank you Werds and Jimscott! The substrate was mostly serpentine and this clayish-mud mixed in. On top of this "rocky" substrate, there were a lot of dead/decomposing traps, and other decomposing leaf material, creating an organic top dressing. In some areas, there was only pure "gravel" and water constantly runs through it. The biggest plants were always found in the areas where a lot of organic material collected.

some more photos of the same site! Many of the shapes and forms found at this site have been found in other populations as well:



Love the mustache tongue on this one:


Triangle tongue:


Your every-day green plant still looks amazing:



Happy little group:


The tongue on this one is pretty awesome:


closer shot:


Symmetrical, elegant trap with a neat "mustache" tongue (these are technical, botanical terms, haha):


Another shot:


Narly motor cycle rider mustache:


group shot:


Last but not least, Rob Co of the Pitcher plant Project in situ:


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With all this drooling I'm in danger of becoming dehydrated :blink:

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