About Us

Peter D'Amato, California Carnivores Founder & Author of The Savage Garden:

Peter D'Amato has been growing carnivorous plants for nearly 40 years and opened California Carnivores nursery in 1989. Co-founder of the Bay Area (California) Carnivorous Plant Society and frequent contributor to the International Carnivorous Plant Society's Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, he has written and lectured on the subject in many magazines and at various gatherings over the years.

Peter has spoken to groups all around the United States, including the University of North Carolina's Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, California Horticultural Society, University of California at Berkeley, The San Diego Zoo, Fredrick Meijer Gardens (Grand Rapids), and the San Francisco Zoo, to name a few. He has appeared on many television shows, including several Home and Garden Network programs, Martha Stewart Living, and various travel and garden shows from CNN to local California news programs.

red saracenias

He also gave an invited opening address to an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on The Mystery of Carnivorous Plants in 1999. In 1997 Peter was approached by an editor of Ten Speed Press, after the editor heard people at a party speaking of his strange nursery California Carnivores and visiting the real-life Little Shop of Horrors. The result was the book The Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants, which was written long-hand in ten months and published with the help of many friends and customers.  The book has received rave reviews, and won two Book Awards, one from the American Horticultural Society and the other from the Garden Writers Association of America. Published in 1998, it is now in its eighth printing.

Peter says, "I have been thrilled with the popularity of California Carnivores and the success of The Savage Garden, and even after all these years I'm am still in awe at the beauty and sinister mystery of carnivorous plants, just as much as the day I first lay eyes on them.  Nothing is more gratifying than to hear of happy people who have had just as much fun growing these marvels of nature as I have."


Damon Collingsworth is our general manager and propagator. He also maintains our webpage and takes all of our photographs. He purchased his first carnivorous plant, a cape sundew, from Peter in 1988 at a local flea market and he has collected them ever since. Later, he became one of our first full-time employees. A couple years after that, he got the opportunity to live in Borneo and manage the nursery at Malesiana Tropicals with Ch'ien C. Lee;from 2001-02. With twenty years of experience growing carnivorous plants, we are delighted to have Damon working with us again.

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