Tombstone Asterplent

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Standing tall in the serine rocky plains of Ovi is the tombstone asterplent. Like other asterplents, it waddles around as a tiny juvenile until it eventually settles down to grow. The tombstone asterplent differs in that it finds a more nutritious food source to kick-start its growth: a corpse.

In order to first find one, the juveniles have better chemoreception, allowing them to more easily "smell" carcasses. When the juvenile stumbles across a sufficiently large and fresh carcass, it will quickly become sessile and take root. It uses the nutrients to fuel growth, allowing it to grow to larger sizes. The roots are much thicker and have a waxy cuticle similar to terran air plants, helping them avoid dessication for when the corpse underneath has dried up. While they do take root on top of the corpse, their roots still go into the ground to hold them up and to collect extra nutrients from rain and soil. Their roots can actually spread quite far underground compared to most of their relatives.

Their inner body has a thicker wooden skeleton, with 6 large “leaves” on the side being supported by thin rods. These leaves are thinner in order to be light, making them easier to grow and hold up. They can also regenerate in case they are damaged. This has led to most of the water now being stored in their tall, plump body. The arms now form thin tentacles, used to tightly cling to surroundings and not fall over as they start to take root.

They still reproduce via airborne spores, but due to their more sparse nature, they are able to reproduce parthenogenetically. This ability is triggered when they have not been fertilized for a long time, or simply when they are healthy enough to do so.