This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
While reading the English catalogue of Mr. Wm. Bull, which an English friend has sent to me, I was interested in noting that our common pitcher plants were not only cultivated there, but seem to be generally appreciated. Of the kind common all over the country, S. purpurea, he says:
" This remarkable plant, a native of peat bogs in North America, bears the popular names of Side-saddle flower and Huntsman's Cup. It is a most remarkable evergreen perennial plant, and is so nearly hardy that it is sometimes cultivated in the open air. The plant is stemless, while the leaves which spread around the crown are pitcher shaped, and furnished at the end with a roundish heart-shaped hood, which stands erect, like the open lid of a pitcher. These curious leaves are of a deep green, veined with purplish-red. The flowers grow on scapes about a foot high, the dark purple petals arching over the greenish-yellow styles."
The Southern kinds are more beautiful than this, and I think that if it were generally known how easy it is to cultivate them, there would for them be a great demand.
I have had the S. Drummondii growing very well by the following plan: - I put it in a mixture of about one-half sand and bog moss, pressed in as tight as possible about the roots. Then I get a vessel that will hold water, and put a stone, or piece of brick in, and stand the pot with the plant on it, so that about a quarter or even half the pot is under the water. So you see, all the water the plant gets is what comes up through the hole at the bottom of the pot. The plant itself is never watered, but I find it is always damp. The moss draws up moisture enough. When the water in the outside pan evaporates so as to be below the pot, of course more is added. I know of nothing that grows so easily, or gives more pleasure. I enclose an illustration of this pretty species.