‘Mardi Gras’ is one of the most beautiful of the pitcher plants — an herbaceous perennial presenting as a sturdy clump of modified leaves (pitchers) averaging 1′ tall. The pitcher is an insect trap, consisting of an undulating, often flared, frilly hood with a striking pattern of deep rose veins and white or pale green interveinal spots atop a hollow, green throat or tube. Like all pitcher plants, ‘Mardi Gras’ thrives in full sun. Red, fragrant flowers appear in the spring but the best show is the new pitchers emerging continuously throughout the growing season. Insects and spiders are attracted to and passively “captured” in the pitchers where their soft parts are digested and their exoskeletons accumulate through the season. Kids of all ages are fascinated to see the little bodies pile up in there. ‘Mardi Gras’ and other pitcher plants can easily be grown in containers in peatmoss and perlite or sand, watered with deionized water (to control salt accumulation). When winter dormancy occurs (the pitchers turn brown and dry out) they should be allowed to undergo some cold, and roots should be kept moist. In spring the old, full pitchers can be clipped off in anticipation of a new season of rampant carnivory. ‘Mardi Gras’, introduced by UNC botanists Larry Mellichamp and Rob Gardner, is a cross of two hybrids, the lineage is as follows: (Sarracenia leucophylla x purpurea) x (Sarracenia leucophylla x psittacina). All are North American. The USDA distribution map (see the link below) is for the genus Sarracenia.