Darlingtonia californica - Pitcher zonation

     The inside of the pitcher in Darlingtonia californica is divided into zones corresponding to the situation in Sarracenia. At the top there are roofed scale hairs with the tips pointed downwards. The scales are extra smooth because they are covered with a thin nectary fluid. Almost the same types of scale hairs are present on the fish tail but here the tips are pointed upwards so small animals can easily get a foothold. Below the scale hair zone there are hairs which downwards become longer and longer and up to 8 mm. The shorter ones are stiff, while in the relatively narrow lower part of the pitcher the longer are softer and more flexible. The surface condition of the zones and the recurved edge of the pitcher makes it impossible for a captured prey to escape from the pitfall trap.

H. S. Heide-Jørgensen, Febryary 2022.

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