This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A lady living near Charleston, S. C, writes: "I planted last winter a quantity of Sarracenia roots in a long box made purposely, and fitted to the edge of our piazza, where it gets the heavy drip from the roof. I have now the handsomest fly traps I have ever collected; first they bloomed, then the yellow rags (as the children call them) dropped, the stiff green part remaining; the crimson, yellow, pale green, striped and spotted tubes came, and now the whole box is thick with them - the veined yellow and red very handsome. I have watched them closely; the flies and great wild bees seem to be irresistibly attracted; and presently down they go into the deep tubes and never come out again".
[There is so much of interest about these plants outside of their great beauty, that it will profit in many ways to cultivate them. The manner in which they capture insects is always a wonderful study, and it is pleasant to endeavor to read the , riddle of why do they do it? Those who look on every behavior of a plant, as prompted by direct self interest, conclude that it is simply a method by which the plant feeds. They regard the pitchers as they would roots - an additional means to those generally provided for obtaining food; and this may be true, although it has been proved that the plants seem to thrive as well when insects are prevented from getting into the pitchers; just as a man may learn to thrive by breathing through the mouth only, though his nose usually takes on more than half of this office.
Those who do not look wholly on self interest as the mainspring of effort, see the young of other insects reared in the water of the pitcher, and disputing with the plant the food furnished by the drowned insects - perhaps getting all and the plant none! These may have good reason for concluding that the pitchers are not, to a great extent, for the plants' benefit, but a part of that great scheme by which " all things work together for good " of the whole. - Ed. G. M].