This native perennial plant consists of a rosette of ascending basal leaves. The highly modified leaves are tubular in shape, swollen toward the middle, and about 3-8" long. At the apex of each leaf, there is an erect flap that is open in the front; each flap has 2 lateral rounded lobes. The glabrous outer surface of each leaf is green with purple veins to reddish purple. Each leaf has a winged extension along its front; this is where the leaf margins have joined to form the tubular shape. The upper interior surface of each leaf is similarly colored; it is covered with stiff bristly hairs that point downward. These hairs impede the ability of small insects to escape from the interior of the leaf; some of them eventually fall into a watery fluid at the bottom of the leaf, where the nutrients of their decaying bodies are absorbed by this carnivorous plant. Extra-floral nectaries along the upper interior and rim of each leaf often lure such insects to their doom. From the center of the rosette, there develops a long naked stalk with a single nodding flower at its apex. This stalk is 8-20" long, green to reddish purple, and glabrous. The flower is 22½" across, consisting of 5 persistent sepals, 5 petals, a single pistil with a large umbrella-shaped style, and numerous stamens (which are largely hidden by the odd style). The sepals and petals are usually reddish purple (rarely yellowish green), while the persistent style is yellowish green. The sepals and petals are broadly ovate. The petals curve inward, covering the style; they soon fall off the flower. In contrast, only the tips of the sepals curve inward toward the center of the flower. Hooked stigmas are located at the "spokes" of the umbrella-like style. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer. Each flower is replaced by a 5-celled seed capsule. Each cell of the capsule contains several small seeds with pitted surfaces. The root system consists of a short crown with shallow fibrous roots and slender rhizomes. Vegetative offsets develop from the rhizomes, creating small colonies of plants. Under favorable conditions, individual plants can live 50 years or more.