The hookagourd is a carnivorous plant that traps and digests birds and small animals to obtain nutrients, which are needed since it has only a small root system. Each branch has a flower at the end with a strong fragrance and abundant nectar that attracts the unsuspecting prey. Once an animal lands on the flower, it crawls deeper into the tubular stem to obtain nectar and is unable to exit due to stiff, downward pointing hairs. A distinctive feature of the hookagourd is the enlarged base of each branch, which indicates that it is filling up with organic matter from digested animals. (Read more)
The Na’vi harvest the branches of the hookagourd to carve out bowls and jars for their use. The large basal “gourd” is left intact to grow new branches, thus making the plant a natural factory for production of usable products. Earth botanists on Pandora have discovered that the plants can be manipulated to produce matching sets of bowls if all branches are fed animals simultaneously. These Pandoran rarities are extremely valuable on Earth. Several have found their way into museums or private collections of RDA executives.