Science Fantasy Flora and Fauna Vol 8: Carnivorous Plants

What collection of fantasy plants would be complete without mentioning the carnivorous variety? From the purely passive pitcher plant to the bug snapping fly trap, there’s some fun things you can do with this sort of flora in your own story, game, or what-have-you. As always, feel free to use these creations in your own work.

Nephenthes Anthropophagia

The Man-Eating Pitcher Plant

Growing in sink holes and mountain crevices, the giant man-eating pitcher plant has been a danger to adventurers for many generations. Like their real world cousins, these plants have a pitcher shaped body that contains a sticky, viscous fluid used to trap its victims. Enzymes begin to digest the victims while they are still alive.

In some cases digestion is aided by infauna, a creature that lives inside the plant in a symbiotic relationship. The plant provides the creatures with food, and then the plant gains the nutrients after the creatures are… done with it.

Such creatures can include ants, spiders, fly larvae, bees, wasps, and even crabs. One known plant even contained a small Kobold den that used the plant as a home base for their banditry.

Drosera Falconeri

The Tentacle Flower

A young Elf is walking through a tropical forest, following a game trail, when he comes upon an odd scene. A large, cocoon shaped plant on the side of the path. From a gap in its flesh he can spot the leg of a deer trapped inside, covered in blood. As he steps closer for a better look, he finds that his foot is stuck to the ground. That’s when he noticed the second plant, its sticky, pink petals fully opened, covering the ground like a bear trap.

The only thing left of the Elf when his compatriots find him is his bones, stripped of its flesh and laying on the ground next to the odd, tentacled plants. They know better than to step on its petals, and they know of the slow, agonizing death that awaits if they do.

Utricularia Vacuosa

Giant Bladderwort

Along most freshwater bodies of water bladderworts can be found. These carnivorous plants catch their prey by creating a near-vacuum in their bladders, sucking in their victims with surprising force. The fantasy cousin of these plants is the Giant Bladderwort, a plant of such size that it could easily capture humanoids and larger creatures.

Once caught inside the bladders, intelligent prey can escape rather easily if they have anything sharp enough to cut through the fibrous flesh of the bladderwort. Some species, however, have especially fast acting enzymes that can render prey immobilized too quick for them to react. Unless rescued by a third party, their fate is sealed.

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