Year 5 - Theory and Research
Lesson 8 - O.W.L. Level Magical Plants
Self-Fertilizing Shrubs and Other Dangerous Plants
Self-Fertilizing Shrubs are shrubs that eat flesh and produce their own fertilizer. There are a large number of magical Self-Fertilizing Shrubs across the globe. While some can eat humans, others don’t grow that large. If hungry or underfed, they can cause a lot of problems for witches and wizards. Never plant them close to each other or they may try to eat one another. Also never plant them near any mobile plants, as plant mutations may make them even more dangerous. When re-potting flesh eating plants, their diet doubles the intake of their prey.
The Hell Bramble is a brutal shrub. It has maggots on its roots, which can devour a witch or wizard in minutes. Its mobile, thorny branches move and sway, catching its prey in the thorns of the branches. It consumes with magic and its by-product of the prey is the fertilizer, which helps this shrub to grow. It can eat a prey as large as a human and as small as a rodent.
It is normally found in bog forests, on streambanks, and in moist, mossy forests, in temperate climates. As this shrub can easily trap prey and consume them very fast, the Ministry of Magic has classified this plant as too dangerous to be around humans and is therefore illegal. Any witch or wizard found in possession of this plant will be fined and potentially have to spend some time in Azkaban. Witches and wizards have an obligation to report the sighting of this bush, so a qualified Herbologist can remove the bush and dispose of it safely.
Lucifer’s Snare is a hybrid of Devil’s Snare. However, Lucifer’s Snare has no fear of daylight or bright lights. It throttles humans and animals, then devours its nutrients in a similar manner to a Venomous Tentacula, which we will discuss later in this lecture. The decomposing body of their prey is used as fertilizer.
Lucifer’s Snare is typically found in the tropics. Witches and wizards use it in the same fashion as a Devil’s Snare, as an assassin and to protect treasure. Like Devil’s Snare, it cannot be planted within a 1000 metres of Muggle inhabited areas. To protect oneself from being trapped in its vine-like foliage, one must use a Freezing Charm in order to get away from this plant.
The Snarfalump is only carnivorous during part of its life cycle, typically its growth cycle. It uses its tentacles to trap its prey, growing through their prey to obtain its blood and bone marrow, which is more nutritious. It produces an anaesthetic to prevent the prey from struggling.
The Spikebloom feed off of rats and mice. They occasionally let them go so that another plant can eat them. As the prey has pollen all over its body from this plant when another Spikebloom eats it, the pollen will transported to a new Spikebloom and fertilize it.
The Vampire Fig is a nocturnal shrub. The figs feed off of the blood of living animals. It produces a bloody juice, which is enjoyed by vampires. It is a defensive shrub, but has been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic due to the danger it poses.
Other Flesh Eating Plants
The Vampire Vine, similar to Devil’s Snare, is found in the swamps of Central America. This vine is capable of draining the blood of its victims, which come in contact with its vines. The vines are a fine rope-like tissue of roots and fibres. Each vine contains many mouths, which sucks the nutrients out of the prey. They open their mouths for food and close them if it is not interested in eating that particular prey.
The Madagascar Tree is found in the forests of Madagascar, which is a small island off the coast of South Africa. It is classified as a tree, not a shrub. It has great, green serpent-like tendrils that will rise up, grasp its prey, and retract, wrapping around and around its prey, tightening with each turn, similar to an anaconda.
The Nubian Tree is found in the Nubian fern forest. It feeds on wild beasts, on birds when they drink from the cups of its great waxen flowers, and sometimes witches and wizards when they are seeking shelter from the hot sun at midday. The fruit of this tree is pear-shaped, golden oval, honey drops. Its foliage has a glistening dew that drips all day onto the ground, nurturing the spiked blood-fed grass below. This grass hides the black roots of this tree, which attack its prey.
Review Point - Dangerous Magical Plants
Aconite is found in the shade, in the forests, or on mountain ranges in temperate climates. It is a perennial herb with tuberous roots. The flowers come in clusters, from dark blue to purple. It has a large hood with three small lower petals.
All parts of this plant are poisonous. When dealing with this plant, dragonhide gloves must be worn. If planting this plant, do not leave any of the roots exposed as they are highly toxic to wildlife. It is grown in dark, fluffy nutritious soil.
It is very important to seek medical treatment immediately by a Healer if you become poisoned with Aconite, as death comes on swiftly.
The Angelusprout is capable of moving on its own. It only plants its root when it needs some water. It moves very fast in strong direct sunlight so it is best to deal with these plants at night. It grows to about two feet, four inches tall in its first year, and weighs about nine pounds. As an adult plant, it can be five feet high, and weigh up to 34 pounds. They prefer to remain in clusters. At night, these plants like to hang from its stem, upside down on tree branches.
It consists of a main brown sprout with brown roots and a green leaf, shaped like a wing. Its flower is a yellow bell shaped bulb. By 21 months of age, the yellow bulb bell flower is the largest part of the plant. It has a second wing-shaped leaf that is as sharp as a knife. When it is fully grown, it has a leaf over top of the flower, which hides the large space inside.
For defence, it produces an acidic pollen that will immobilize any perceived enemies. It also has acid in its belly that can melt its enemy. The fluid inside the Angelusprout can be neutralized so that it is a cure.
It is a carnivorous plant and eats anything from small rodents to a three year old child. In order to attract its prey, it emits a sweet honey scent. The acids in the Angelusprout helps it consume its prey. Fire and freezing charms are effective in combating this plant.
Chinese Chomping Cabbage
The Chinese Chomping Cabbage is native to China. Even though it mostly eats carrots, its teeth can give one a nasty bite. In this case, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention from a Healer.
This plant is difficult to work with but it is a healthy plant to eat as it is chock full of nutrients and has multiple health benefits. It is also used as a potions ingredient. It is dangerous to collect as you must avoid its teeth. You must grab it quickly from behind so it can’t bite.
To consume this plant, you cut lengthwise and remove all of its teeth. If you aren’t going to use up all the cabbage at once, it must be stored properly. The faster it breathes, the faster it deteriorates so it must be placed in Muggle tupperware to slow down its metabolic rate. Friomente is a good spell to use to cool the cabbage to the right temperature to preserve it however, it must be consumed within a few days.
Devil’s Snare lives in the Scottish highlands and lowlands, in dark, damp areas, like caves and sloughs. It is a bright green swaying plant with tendrils, even without a breeze or daylight. It attacks its prey when its back is turned or when it is asleep. Once this plant has its prey in its grasp, it is difficult to escape. The more the prey moves, the tighter the tendrils become until the prey has been suffocated. To escape this plant, a witch or wizard can use the spells Incendio or Lumos Maxima, or relax and not struggle so the plant thinks its prey is dead and will drop it.
This plant has no seed so a sample must be collected through intellect and wit. Devil’s Snare is used to guard treasures, as a distraction, or as an assassin. To grow this plant safely, it must be surrounded by light so it does not spread. It is illegal to have this plant within 1000 metres of a Muggle community.
Fire Seed Bush
There are no leaves on a Fire Seed Bush, only seeds. It exists only for its seed. One cannot touch this plant, even while wearing dragonhide gloves. The seeds are about 1400 degrees Celsius.
It is used to increase a fire’s heat up to 4986.85 degrees Celsius. It can burn through any material and will kill an animal or human if it gets too close. It is used in potions.
To harvest this plant, a witch must use a Freezing Charm on the plant every 19 to 21 minutes. One must wait 180 seconds after the charm in order to hold the seeds with dragonhide gloves.
Mandrakes are plants that are shaped like a parsnip, in the shape of a being. Above ground, it resembles a tobacco plant with leaves that grow between five and forty centimetres. It is common in European countries and grow where men have been hung. It causes hallucinations, comas, and dreamlike states. Mandrakes are used in sleeping potions, love potions, and to revive a petrified person.
When Mandrakes are uprooted, they scream. This is a defense mechanism. It can only cause one fatality with its scream and then it stops. An adult scream will cause death so ear protection is mandatory when dealing with this plant. Dragonhide gloves are necessary as directly touching this plant will cause one to fall into a coma. Once the plant has been dropped, it immediately re-plants itself.
To stop a Mandrake from screaming, Amaradus Spencer discovered that submersing this plant in Aquatandisu potion would stop the screams and the plant could be harvested, but never replanted again. To re-pot a Mandrake, you must wear your protective gear mentioned above, and plant it in medium to heavy soil. It then needs to be watered with 3/4th the plant approximate weight.
The power of Treevot is very powerful, as it has the ability to control the trees around it and anyone trapped that has come into the forest. It is also capable of performing dark magic. It has three curses: the Forest Curse, the Energy Curse, and the Bonding Curse.
When a forest sprite dies, if a tree stump is nearby, it will use the rest of its magic to merge with the stump, bringing it back to life. At this point, it is only a Votump. It will use some of the left over magic from the forest sprite to emit a child-like voice to scare away wanderers. If the ground is weak, the Votump can move across the ground, up to three feet at a time.
To grow into a Treevot, the Votump must find a fallen tree and use both the sunlight and the moonlight when they are both visible at the same time to create bark that is taken into the plant and used to grow into a tree again, about four feet high. Treevots are normally friendly and very gentle.
The Forest Curse causes one to begin to become part of the forest the longer they remain there. If the forest is harmed, so are you. If one remains for a full cycle of the moon, the curse is irreversible. The Energy Curse takes your energy away. The Treevot sacrifices half of its energy to empower this curse. It gives you four days to live by taking a quarter of your energy every day and by the fourth day, you will spend your time unconscious for eternity. If a Healer is brought in on time, one may have the capacity to survive this curse. The Bonding Curse causes one’s destiny to become bonded with the Treevot. If the Treevot is distressed, so are you. If you are injured, so is the Treevot. The distance between you and the Treevot does not matter. One will feel cold all the time as the breeze moving through the Treevot also moves through you.
The Venomous Tentacula is a climbing vine with vine appendages and spikes . It usually lives in a large pot for several years, then it is planted against a wall. This increases the mobility of its stems, ending with a biting mouth. With its mouth, it bites and consumes its prey. Its bite is fatal. It can also trap its prey by spitting venom from its shoots and its spikes are deadly.
The Venomous Tentacula was used during the Battle of Hogwarts. Neville Longbottom and Professor Sprout carried these plants into the Entrance Hall to fight the Death Eaters. Unfortunately, Professor McGonagall’s husband, Elphinstone Urquart, died after been bitten by a Venomous Tentacula in 1985.
The Vile Pluma starts as a dark blue bulb, weighing 11 pounds, and is 12 inches tall. It has several green leaves, coming from the centre of the bulb. At this point, the leaves can catch small predators. If under attack, it can move itself to a safe place. It is a nocturnal plant and is very sensitive to light.
This plant requires the most nutritious soil. If it notices another area with better soil, it will uproot itself and re-plant itself in that soil. At full growth, a brown bud will appear in the centre of the leaves. The leaves will turn a reddish-orange colour. When in bloom, the flower is red with white speckles and has an orange centre. It will be about four feet high, weighing 41 pounds.
Vile Plumas shake its petals to release a pollen that paralyzes animals and humans. It can also cause severe allergic reactions in humans. It can smack its prey with its leaves. It is also capable of creating an energy ball from magic, using the stored energy from the moonlight. If this energy ball comes in contact with a human, it will cause the human to faint upon impact. That is why a good shielding spell is necessary.
Well that’s all the time we have today. We sure did look at some interesting plants and reviewed some old favourites.
Since we are close to O.W.L.s, we will only have a short quiz on today's lesson.
Have a great week. Class dismissed. Photos will be posed on the Herbology facebook page as soon as we are able to do so.