One of the most fearsome looking plants in the galaxy is the Ratcatcher. One of the few carnivorous plants in the galaxy, the Ratcatcher has a ravenous appetite to match its fearsome appearance. Native to the forests of Aleena the Ratcatcher grows large enough to be a threat to the Aleena species itself.
Like most carnivorous plants, the Ratcatcher is equipped with some ferocious looking parts. It does produce small pink flowers but these are merely a backdrop to the massive pod shaped jaws. The jaws open wide enough to engulf a full grown Aleena, which can reach up to two and a half feet in height. The teeth in the jaws are not used for chewing. They are merely meant to hold the struggling prey in place while the digestive juices secreted in the pod go to work. One meal can feed a Ratcatcher for a week. Known to scientists as Cig karne the Ratcatcher is one of the few plants capable of tactile motion. Its pod has a special mechanism inside which detects changes in weight above two grams. Any weight above that threshold causes the pod to snap shut. However, since most creatures are not foolish enough to jump into its jaws, the Ratcatcher also employs stealth. The pod on a full grown Ratcatcher produces drooping leaves, which hang from the top on both sides, obscuring the jaws and making it far more likely that a creature will stumble into them by accident.
Gardening and Uses
The Ratcatcher is frequently found in the houses of the wealthy as as sort of status symbol. In the past, rulers of Aleena have used the Ratcatcher as an execution device, to rid themselves of troublesome prisoners and dissidents. C. karne is easy to grow from seed but it does require partial shade at a minimum. One of the more ingenious uses of a Ratcatcher when it is young is as a replacement for a house feline. Rather than worry about fur, many sentients prefer the ease of simply watering the younger Ratcatcher periodically. Military outposts frequently plant Ratcatchers around the outskirts to help protect against a potential enemy attack. Scientists are currently attempting to breed a dwarf Ratcatcher for permanent use indoors against rodent pests and for use in gardens as a deterrent to grazing herbivores.