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Plantapurpurea cordata

The pitcher is not shaped like a pitcher at all, but instead looks something like a giant purple baseball mitt. It was named by an ex-Marine with little knowledge of botanical nomenclature. This plant has a unique and rare lifestyle on Pandora in that it grows almost entirely underground where it is a parasite on the roots of other plants. These unseen parts tap into the water and nutrient reserves and absorb carbohydrates from the host plant. (Read more)
The pitcher is a flowering plant, however, and needs a means of pollinating the flowers in order to produce seeds and insure its own survival. The large mitt-shaped purple leaf emerges from the soil once the hidden plant is mature, and it serves as a sentinel that “tests” the environment for suitability. If it survives to fully expanded size, the plant produces a flowering stalk next, which is a rare sight. The giant purplish-black flowers smell like rotting flesh and are pollinated by flies and carrion eating beetles.

The large leaves are useful as a leather substitute and human colonists on Pandora have developed a crude baseball mitt from them. However, the Na’vi are careful not to overharvest the leaves, which would prevent flowering and drive the species to local extinction.

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