Flora & Fauna in Crescent City & Del Norte County, California
Wander lush forests on a quest for rare flowers. Seek out wild rhodys growing among the redwoods coast of California. Let colossal conifers guide your group to secret bogs with distinctive vegetation. Get the unique soils of Del Norte County under your feet to discover a rich collection of blossoming plant life.
A Darlingtonia Trail
Discover a delicately dangerous flower that grows from a murky bog. Along Highway 199, the short Darlingtonia Trail is easy for everyone and is home to a rare plant species. The California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica), also called the cobra lily, is a carnivorous plant with special soil requirements. It is only found in Northern California and Southern Oregon where rock-derived Serpentine soil exists. Study the plant closely and you may see an insect crawl in and never escape. Downward-facing hairs prevent insects from retreating, providing the flower much-needed nitrogen. Savor other lush vegetation along your stroll such as Ocean Spray, California Milkwort and Waxy Coneflower.
The Port Orford Cedar Tree
When roaming the serpentine soil of the Darlingtonia wetlands, you may encounter another local legend – the Port Orford cedar. Unique to the area and somewhat rare, these conifers can sometimes exceed 350 years old. Venture out on a tour of towering trees. Sequoias and redwoods aren’t’ the only giants; Coastal Douglas firs grow up to 250 feet tall and reach 6 feet in diameter. The Grand Fir can stand 200 feet tall and are best admired along the coast.
Redwoods & Five-Finger Ferns
Get lost between redwood and mixed evergreen forests where soils collide to create a rich tapestry of vegetation. The Myrtle Creek Trail is a journey through mining and geologic history thanks to soil high in heavy metals and low in essential nutrients. Admire rare species like the striking California pitcher plant and the dainty five-finger fern. Float above delicate Western Fairy-Slipper, whimsical Western azaleas and spritely trilliums for a unique photo op.
For those searching out Sasquatch and unicorns, add the Serpentine Catchfly to your list. Only found in Del Norte County, this bright red flower loves coastal serpentine soil and is incredibly rare. As you explore Highway 101, you may spot a few along jagged bluffs. There has also been a sighting or two further inland at Patrick Creek.
Photo By Bryant Anderson