Leaves tufted, ascending, hollow, much inflated and trumpet-shaped, 4 to 12 inches long, with a broad, lateral wing and an erect terminal lid or lamina, glabrous except the inner side of the lamina and the inner surface of the pitchers, which are densely clothed with stiff, reflexed hairs, purple-veined or sometimes green, yellowish or reddish all over, narrowed into petioles below, persistent over winter. Roots large, stout and fibrous. Flowers solitary on slender scapes, 1 to 2 feet high, nodding, deep purple or rarely yellow, nearly globose, 1 ½ to 2¼ inches broad; sepals five, green, with three or four bracts at the base; petals five, obovate, narrowed in the middle, incurved over the yellowish style. Style dilated at the apex into a peltate umbrellalike structure with five rays which terminate under its angles in hooked stigmas.
In peat bogs and wet sphagnous places, Labrador to the Canadian Rocky mountains, Florida, Kentucky and Iowa. Flowering in May and June. The pitcher-shaped leaves usually contain more or less water in which are numerous drowned insects which furnish food for the larvae of a fly which is instrumental in the cross-pollination of the flowers.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
Pitcher Plant; Sidesaddle Flower - Sarracenia purpurea