Potmaw Species in VISCERIUM | World Anvil


This article is a work in progress
If a pitcher plant and a broadleaf plantain had a twisted, jumped-up offspring, this is what you'd get.
— Someone, some time ago
  The Potmaw is named for its hidden trap design that resembles a pot with pointed teeth made of thorns.   This plant begins its life undergroud by developing a singular, hollow stem. That stem then breaks the surface and produces wide, pointed leafs around its perimeter. This allows the Potmaw to collect nutrients whilst the stem expands in width from its mid-point forming a subteranian bud-like shape.  
Potmaw diagram by Fall (me)
When ready, the plant opens the top most section of its bud-like tube to form a "U" shaped pit in the ground. From the surface, this hole is covered by several broad, flat leaves that surround the edges of the plant covering the on average 50cm deep and 30cm wide, hole in the ground.   The Potmaw is not to be confused with the invasie herb - Broadleaf plantain (Plantago major).
The similar apperace of these two plants is what leads to many an unsuspecting fellow or creature to trample on the plant non-the-wiser and fall into its cavernous maw. The key difference in apperance between a Potmaw and a broadleaf plantain, is the lack of flowering stems protruding from the leafs skyward.
The inner rim at the top of the plant's tube is lined with a number of large tooth-like thorns and almost fur-like bristles that help encourage things to slip inwards whilst simultaneously encouraging the production of acid. The thorns point downwards and almost meet in the centre of the hole - this design of thorns prevents most creatures from being able to remove any unfortunate limbs that enter, or, for any smaller creature from being able to jump out of the pit.   The thorns make it especially difficult to remove a trapped limb as they tend to dig in deeper as the limb is pulled out - due to their curved nature. As such, the method for removing this plant from one of its victims requires that the Potmaw be dug out from the ground. Once removed from the ground, the hard fleshy skin of the sub-terranian pot-like stem needs to be cut open, being careful not to spill the Potmaw's acid onto any exposed skin. Once the pot-like stem has been split-open, the stuck limb can be carefully removed by widening the split to allow the limb to pass by the thorns.   Within the plant's pot-like stem, about 1/3rd of it is consistently filled with an acidic substance that weeps from the pot's inner surface when it senses something has been caught. This process is seen as the Potmaw sweating the deadly liquid out of tiny pores that line the walls of the inner stem.  


Given the very nature of this plant, it can be used as a natural trap or defensive nature by anyone willing to wait for the plant to grow. Allowing for the capture of trespasers or removal of small pests or rodents.
The acid produced within the Potmaw's pot is not unlike that of a Human's stomach acid - it can cause a nasty burn quite quicly. As such, it is often cultivated for the acid to be later harvested and utilized.
The larger leaves have a deep and rich, slightly bitter flavor with a fibrous texture. It's an acquired taste. However, the young, small leaves are more palatable and tender with a taste similar to asparagus.


Potmaw's can be found throughout most temperate areas. They do however increase in number near Corruption Events as these events can strongly effect nature within the surrounding area.   Potmaw's tend to be found in more dark and dank areas around the bases of bushes and trees to help them blend in more subtly. Though, they can grow almost anywhere within a temperate climate, areas with a helathy amount of small fauna is favoured, most notably so, along the edge of farmland and prairies.
Pictured: Broadleaf Plantain
Scientific name
Plantago imitatio
Average dimensions
Depth of pit: 50cm,
Width of pit: 30cm,
Length of leaf: 22cm,
Width of leaf: 13cm,
Largest recorded dimensions
Depth of pit: 195cm,
Width of pit: 122cm,
Length of leaf: 92cm,
Width of leaf: 55cm,
Flat, wide leaves similar to that of a broadleaf plantain. No flowers as the seeds are dispensed out of the rim of the pit.
Leaves: Light to mid green with subtle tones of yellow throughout,
Thorns: Deep purple-brown at the base with a deep crimson spike,
Inner wall of pot: Green with deep purple-red veins,
Avg. PH: 1.5,
Colour: Pale green-yellow,
Scent: Burnt rotten eggs,
Found a Potmaw out in them woods behind 'r farm yes'erday, smelt like it'd caught some kinda rodent... Poor bastard.
— A Farmer to his wife
All artwork that is not an original creation by myself (@Bladeswillfall) will be replaced in time with either original pieces or commissioned art.


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Mar 13, 2021 09:43 by Andrew Booth

Oooh, a pitfall trap but a plant - love it. I wonder how big they can get? I can just imagine walking through the forest and narrowly avoiding falling into one that has a pit bigger than me. Eek!

Mar 15, 2021 09:47 by Fall

Thank you! I'm glad to see your thought-process was similar to mine haha. They start off small but can get pretty big! (not sure how big yet though aha).

Mar 15, 2021 10:12

Nice concept to have the plant actually be a trap. You managed to make my leg feel uncomfortable now so job well done!

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Mar 15, 2021 10:38 by Fall

Thank you! Do you have any crtisisms or things you'd like to see updated?

Mar 15, 2021 11:55

I think in terms of layout you are pretty well off. The extra column to the right is a bit empty now still though so perhaps you can add something there. The acid sentence is a bit long so perhaps that one could be split because now it's a bit harder to read. You could also add link or tooltip for the Corruption Events for people who want to learn more about that. But besides that I don't have any real remarks. :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Mar 15, 2021 13:59 by Fall

Thank you! I've added some more content and made the corruption event page public to enable the tooltip and a little more detail if wanted. A lot of my world has content ready for it, it's just not made public yet haha. Really appreciate the feedback and will check out your world too!

Mar 15, 2021 14:12

Nice that you made it public ! :D Oh I see now how large my account signature looks. I made it a bit smaller now :p

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Mar 15, 2021 17:50 by O4

This plant has the special attribute of not being that special (at least on the surface level (pun intended)).   It's just an interesting concept for a plant species. Fill your world with a bunch of these, and suddenly it becomes a place that feels lived in. Great job!

Mar 15, 2021 18:01 by Fall

Nice job on the pun there haha!   That's my aim at least, lots of small details and ranges of places to hopefully make a place where people are drawn-in by at least one aspect or another.

Mar 17, 2021 16:26 by TC

Pitfal trap plant!! Awesome! That is one terrifying carnivorous plant I would love to throw at my players, awesome work!!

Creator of Arda Almayed
Mar 17, 2021 16:39 by Fall

Thank you very much! I've never played a TTRPG but do watch one and play the game versions like Divinity etc so perhaps I could see about making a stablock for it too?

Mar 23, 2021 00:13 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Nice article and great plant! I love how you took inspirations from pitchers, I love those plants. And great drawing!   I'm wondering how big your plant can get since you've only given the average size. Is there any sapient being in your world that are small enough to get caught by it? Or you're hinting that someone could get their feet trapped inside? How hard would it be to get out then? They would have to dig up the plant first I imagine, and then cut it open. How hard is the external wall of the plant? And how much damage can the acid do in that time? And then, I imagine the teeth would have done some damage too. It would be great if you added some details about what would be consequences for people encountering them. Lol, I want to see people getting eaten XD

Mar 24, 2021 14:48 by Fall

Thank you very much!   I'm still fleshing out the world but it's a psuedo 13th century setting with 14th century influences in some areas so there are definetly smaller beings and creatures that can get caught in it. I'll add some more detail in the form of some numbers and a few anecdotal quotes in regards to your other points though, I hadn't thought about these factors and it's definetly something I should conisder! Follow the article if you like and i'll ping you when it's updated? :D

Mar 24, 2021 15:10 by Fall

Also, if you want to see people getting eaten, you'll like my next plant i'm begining to work on... The Tomb Root ;)

Apr 8, 2021 15:19 by Mark Laybolt

Hi Bladeswillfall!   As a GM, I like the 'trap' feature your plant provides. Your article is well written and I like the differentiation in plant maturity for the flavour of its leaves. I'm not sure what's going on but your entire article is right-aligned when I view it (including your title). It may be something worth looking at if it's not intentional. Excellent work, and good job on your cross section image!

Apr 8, 2021 16:05 by Fall

Thank you so much for taking the time to review your article, I'm glad you like the plant and my writing style though! :D   As for the alignment, this was unfortunately an error on my part late last night that I didn't realise i'd made, it's now fixed and everything should be displaying as normal.   Thank you agian though!

Apr 8, 2021 16:40 by Mark Laybolt

It's all coming through correctly now. Have a great day!

Apr 11, 2021 21:47 by Michael Chandra

*looks at largest recorded size* o_O Yikes, okay, so that's a way to dispose of a corpse I guess. Creepy!   Minor sidenote: It's is for "it is", in this case you'd want "its" for 'of/belonging to the plant'.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Apr 14, 2021 13:29 by Fall

It is indeed haha, they take a long time to get that large though so it's rather uncommon. Thank you for the correction, I often forget to check my spelling and grammar as i'm so used to spell-checkers doing it for me that I make these mistakes subconciously.   Really appreciate your time to give feedback and for liking the article!