Pretty to me, deadly to insects, that is! I'm taking care of my boyfriend's mail while he's out of town for work, and I just had to snap a photo or two of his blooming pitcher plant during today's visit. (Of course it would bloom for the first time ever this week--isn't that Murphy's 5th Law of Tending Plants or something?)
At this point of the year, the pitchers are just starting to come back from their semi-dormant winter state, and the nearby venus fly trap has dozens of tiny baby traps that are beginning to emerge. Steve cut back the flower stems on the fly trap, but it seems as though letting sarracenia bloom is not nearly as harmful to the plant. He didn't want to mess with it too much, though, so he did save the task of trimming back dried pitchers until after the plant is finished flowering.
We've been dating now for more than two years, so I think that this will be the second successful overwintering for both of these carnivorous plants. (Yes, I started buying him plants for his apartment the first summer that we were together. The man needed some life in there to wake up the white walls!) It amazes me that they do so well for him, but they live in a south-facing window and he has a warm, 6th-floor apartment. Both are key for these guys, it seems.
I'm more of a succulent girl than a fussy-plant kind of girl, but they're very fun plants and I'm glad that he grows them. This way, I get to enjoy them when I visit... and he can do all the work that they require! :)