Whispering Plants are alien carnivorous species from Quphieth. Plant and animal are not exact terms to describe it. They're striking to look at, pleasant to smell and fill the surroundings with an off-Earth feeling.
It's sessile, and uses colour, odour and sound to attract its prey. At the same time it can photosynthesise and is able to last without prey for very long periods. With a minor amount of genetic tinkering it was turned into a spy plant by Sophie Redbridge.
On its home planet, the whispering shruh could imitate the calls of local mobiles, birdlike and mammal-like creatures. The forests and fields of the planet were full of sounds and bright colours, fanciful imitations mixing with the calls of the birds. The human visitors found a fascination in a pot plant which could mimic conversations in a way no Earth-born parrot could ever do.
Each alien Whispering Plant has the same form; a thick, fairly short trunk, with a fringe of bright blue plumes sticking out horizontally for a distance about half the height of the trunk, then a mass of astonishing red fronds at least twice the length of the trunk topped the whole thing off.
At the base of the fronds is a feeding orifice, and in some circumstances a small animal can get trapped in the crown of the plant and dragged down into it. Alternatively insects can be swallowed when a frond simply folds along its length, forming a tight tube. All along the length of the trunk are small openings, which can produce the range of sounds which give the creature its name. The great attraction is the quiet background of alien creature calls that the plant continues to produce when it had been brought to Earth.
- When a Plan Works Well, Stories Of Life On The Frontier by David Massey