DUNCAN SMITH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DUNCAN SMITH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cobra Lily (Darlingtonia california). This insectivorous plant produces a sweet smelling nectar to attract insects. Once an insect enters the mouth of the lily, it is unable to find an exit. Instead, the insect is forced to the back of the head of the lily by backward-pointing hairs, where the wall of the plant is smooth and slippery. The insect falls into a liquid at the bottom of the lily which contains digestive juices. Insects provide the plants with nitrogen, which is lacking from the soils that the plants grow in. The Cobra Lily is so called because the adult plants look like a cobra about to strike its prey.
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