Flora: Cobra Lily

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Cobra Lily

1. Katingtonia Sharrokonica – the Cobra Lily

The Cobra Lily grows mainly in the out world, a subservient counterpart of Shoa Khania (the wrath oak)

Its seeds can be ground into a superb opiate

Its curls are vast, its reach fi(r)m and simply stunning.

2. the Cobra Lily



Its seeds can be ground into a superb opiate.

This illustration is also incorrectly named, it is actually a fern*


To read up on medicinal uses of different fern varieties go to permaculture:


*I have included the information corresponding with the name ‘Cobra Lily’ in this case.

Looks like there is also a cheeky reference to Shao Khan from Mortal Kombat and Katingtonia Sharrokonica is Katie Sharrock assistant set decorator.

Cobra Lily

The Darlingtonia californica, also known as the California pitcher plant, cobra lily, or cobra plant. Its what they call a Pitfall type carnivorous plant, and its the sole member of the genus Darlingtonia in the family Sarraceniaceae. Native to Northern California and Oregon and Himalayan regions growing in bogs and seeps with cold running water. This plant is designated as uncommon due to its rarity and it appears to grow well in areas rich in heavy metals. The name stems from its resemblance a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf that resembles fangs of a serpent’s tongue. Its tubular form contains a fluid that digests trapped insects.

By Eric1987, Public Domain

Medicinal Use

Hanaoka Seishu (1760–1835) of Osaka was a Japanese surgeon of the Edo period  with a knowledge of  Chinese herbal medicine, as well as Western surgical techniques. Beginning in about 1785, Hanaoka embarked on a quest to re-create a compound that would have pharmacologic properties similar to Hua Tuo’s mafeisan. After years of research and experimentation, he finally developed a formula which he named tsūsensan. Like that of Hua Tuo, this compound was composed of extracts of several different plants.

The  five of these seven ingredients were thought to be elements of Hua Tuo’s anesthetic potion, used 1600 years earlier.

The active ingredients in tsūsensan are    scopolamine , hyoscyamine ,  atropine , aconitine , angelicotoxin.  In sufficient quantity, tsūsensan produces a state of general anesthesia and  skeletal muscle paralysis. Shutei nakagawa (1773–1850), a close friend of Hanaoka, wrote a small pamphlet titled “Mayaku-ko” (“narcotic powder”) in 1796. Although the original manuscript was lost in a fire in 1867, this brochure described the current state of Hanaoka’s research on general anesthesia.

On 13 October 1804, Hanaoka performed a partial mastectomy for breast cancer on a 60-year-old woman named Kan Aiya, using tsūsensan as a general anesthetic. This is generally regarded today as the first reliable documentation of an operation to be performed under general anesthesia. Hanaoka went on to perform many operations using tsūsensan, including resection of malignant masses,  extraction of bladder stones, and extremity amputations. Before his death in 1835, Hanaoka performed more than 150 operations for breast cancer.

Evolution of Anesthesia 18th- 19th Century

The opiate was believed to contain:

  • 2 parts bai zhi (Chinese:白芷,Angelica dahurica)
  • 2 parts cao wu (Chinese:草烏,Aconitum sp., monkshood or wolfsbane)
  • 2 parts chuān ban xia (Pinellia ternata)
  • 2 parts chuān xiōng (Ligusticum wallichii, Cnidium rhizome, Cnidium officinale or Szechuan lovage)
  • 2 parts dong quai (Angelica sinensis or female ginseng)
  • 1 part tian nan xing (Arisaema rhizomatum or cobra lily)
  • 8 parts yang jin hua (Datura stramonium, Korean morning glory, thorn apple, jimson weed, devil’s trumpet, stinkweed, or locoweed).

One of the most interesting points is this opiate has previously been created 1600 years earlier but the recipe was lost, kind of like the origin of the Xenomorph. It wasn’t until David rediscovered it, did it come back into the universe so to speak. Sure it had previously existed, just like the compound. Who should get the credit for inventing it? The one who rediscovered it, putting their own creativity and spin on the original recipe? Something to think about.

Kingdom: Plantae

Clade: Angiosperms

Clade: Eudicots

Clade: Asterids

Order: Ericales

Family: Sarraceniaceae

Genus: Darlingtonia

Torr. (1853)

Species: D. californica


  1. Darlingtonia californica – the Cobra Lily
  2. History & Evolution of Anesthesia: 18th and 19th century advancement in science of anesthesia

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