Corpus tuberosum ‘Flesh-Eater’ Potato
Description: A flesh-eater is but a wolf to a dead man. Will devour marrow and tendons and soul as one. Gorgeous pale gray-brown to coppery skin with a lacework of deep purple stems and heart-shaped leaves that offer a pleasing contrast to gray slate or the ivory of exposed, naked bones. Their many eyes are imperceptible but hungry, never blinking twice at the morals of their caregiver. An excellent ground cover for any sun-loving grave. Considered a carnivorous perennial in regions with mild winters, but an annual elsewhere.
Care: For faster growth, soak slips in fresh blood for at least 1-2 days before planting. The roots are attracted to the cloy of tender meat and the pheromones in sweat. A lover of rain, rosy-cheeked children, and the heat of never-ending summer. Will easily find any immobilized prey left in their earthy grasp. Note, fertilizer can be added directly to the soil without removal from black trash bags. Avoids a mess, and the plastic will keep dirt at a warmer temperature. Duct tape can’t be consumed for nutrients, but with time, it will fall away from bound mouths or hands, biodegrading in 1-3 months. Eventually, sequestering carbon and emerald growth and rich earth is all that remains.
Companion Plants: Creeping Thyme (this aromatic herb will cover the scent of decay); Chrysanthemums (aka, death flowers); Rosa ‘Knock Out’ (will bloom continual, bountiful flushes with regular bone meals)
Hardiness Zone: 10-12
Watering: Weekly blood sprays
Light Needs: Full sun
Anna Madden (she/her) lives in North Texas, USA, where the prairie reaches long tallgrass fingers toward the woods. Her fiction has appeared in Hexagon, Zooscape, Orion’s Belt, Medusa Tales, Podcastle, Metaphorosis, and elsewhere. She has an English degree from the University of Missouri—Kansas City. In her free time she gardens, mountain bikes, and makes birch forests out of stained glass. Follow her on Twitter @anna_madden_ or visit her website at annamadden.com.