Bellicum pennatum or Maraca Aerii
4.5 to 5.5 meters
|Behind the scenes|
Description and Biology[edit | edit source]
The most striking feature of the warbonnet fern is the iridescent blue of the leaves, which contain abundant anthocyanin pigments. These pigments are light-reactive chemicals that reflect blue light and give color to the blue and purple flowers and fruit. The warbonnet fern was aptly named for the primary use of this plant--as headwear during times of both war and peace. Special pattern of bioluminescence in rays lures in insects to plants for nectar. Birds feed on insects and protect plant from insect feeding. The warbonnet fern has evolved a close relationship with a particular species of forest bird, which is also a pale iridescent blue color and well camouflaged against the leaves of the plant. These birds feed on insects that are attracted to the blue leaves that have red lines radiating out from the center of the plant. Insects accumulate on the enlarged central apex or meristem, from which the leaves grow, and the small birds swoop in to feed.
It is fortunate that warbonnet ferns sprout readily from belowground buds because they are gathered and used regularly by the Na'vi. The dark nights are often illuminated by single leaves that have been mounted on trees with their glowing arrow-like pattern pointing to a special destination, reminiscent of earthly neon signs.
Ethnobotany[edit | edit source]
The Na'vi use this plant as headwear during times of both war and peace. The similarity to Native American headwear made from feathers is obvious, as Pandoran colonists have noted. Individual leaves are also used as nighttime signals for directions, due to the arrowlike shape of each leaf.
Commentary[edit | edit source]
The warbonnet fern is among the many bioluminescent flora that are featured prominently when Jake Sully is first aware of the phenomenon at night.
References[edit | edit source]
- Pandora ROVR, Ingame wiki
- James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide pg 110-111