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Biology

Candypop buds are flowers very large in comparison to Olimar and the Pikmin, which have five soft, fleshy petals with yellow/brown points on the end and sinewy tendrils which allow the flowers to open and close repeatedly throughout the day. When the buds snap closed, if there are any Pikmin inside they will be ejected from the bud as a seed, now transformed into the corresponding Pikmin species for the bud. Candypop buds will wither away after they transform a certain number of Pikmin; in the original Pikmin this number is 50, but in Pikmin 2 this number was reduced to 5. Throwing a Pikmin the same colour as the bud into the bud will not count towards the number of transformed Pikmin. As no purple or white Pikmin onions are ever found in the games, the only way to obtain purple and white Pikmin in Pikmin 2 is by throwing Pikmin of other colors into violet or ivory candypop buds. 
 
It is hypothesized by Olimar that candypop buds are the next stage in Pikmin evolution and Olimar also believes that if the flowers could be cultivated they would offer many benefits to the cosmetic, medical and tourist industries. He also speculates that given the micro-ecologies the flowers have been found in it may be possible to find them in any subterranean area, regardless of geographical location. Furthermore he says that in many cases plants with small leaves typically have limited photosynthetic capabilities and so must find alternative ways of obtaining nutrients such as parasitic or predatory behaviour and the candypop bud could be one example of such a plant.
 

Species

Crimson, golden and lapis lazuli candypop buds can be found in both Pikmin 1 and 2, however violet, ivory and queen candypop buds only appear in Pikmin 2. It is also notable that in Pikmin 2 candypop buds are never found on the surface of the planet and are only found in underground caves.
 

Crimson Candypop Bud

Pikmin: Red 
Scientific Name: Flora rufusia
Areas: The Forest Navel, The Distant Spring, The Final Trial 
Caves: Bulblax Kingdom, Hole of Heroes 

In the original Pikmin this is the only candypop bud which the player is not required to make use of. According to Louie the flower is spicy and combusts on contact with the tongue. 
 

Golden Candypop Bud

Pikmin: Yellow 
Scientific Name: Flora aurumia 
Areas: The Forest Navel, The Distant Spring, The Final Trial 
Caves: Glutton's Kitchen 

In the original Pikmin this bud had to be used to obtain the chronos reactor and in Pikmin 2 it only appears once, on the third sublevel of the Glutton's Kitchen cave. According to Louie the juices of the flower have a tart flavor and are so acidic they can burn through a frying pan. 
   

Lapis Lazuli Candypop Bud

Pikmin: Blue 
Scientific Name: Flora cobaltium 
Areas: The Distant Spring, The Final Trial 
Caves: Frontier Cavern, Snagret Hole, Hole of Heroes 

This candypop bud is named after a rare sapphire-like mineral and is usually found near water. According to Louie the tough texture of the plant makes it unsuitable for salads but its blue hue means it makes a good garnish. 
 

Violet Candypop Bud

Pikmin: Purple 
Scientific Name: Flora puniceus
Areas: None 
Caves: Emergence Cave, Subterranean Complex, Frontier Cavern, Hole of Beasts, Bulblax Kingdom, Snagret Hole, Citadel of Spiders, Glutton's Kitchen, Shower Room, Submerged Castle, Cavern of Chaos 

Olimar describes the violet candypop buds as having "robustly odoriferous oils " and Louie notes that the flowers secrete a dark, flavorful oil which could be used as a substitute for salad dressing. 
 

Ivory Candypop Bud

Pikmin: White 
Scientific Name: Flora niveus 
Areas: None 
Caves: Subterranean Complex, Frontier Cavern, White Flower Garden, Bulblax Kingdom, Snagret Hole, Citadel of Spiders, Submerged Castle, Cavern of Chaos 
 
The White Flower Garden cave is most likely named for its potential to contain many of this specie of candypop bud. According to Louie ivory candypop buds spoil immediately after being picked. 
 

Queen Candypop Bud

Pikmin: Red/Yellow/Blue 
Scientific Name: Flora regina 
Areas: None 
Caves: Subterranean Complex, Snagret Hole, Shower Room, Cavern of Chaos, Hole of Heroes 
 
This specie of the flower is usually considered the strangest. It is a white candypop bud with coloured spots which flash between red, blue and yellow. Whichever colour the spots are when the Pikmin being thrown in hits the flower is the colour of Pikmin which will come out of the bud. However, instead of returning a single Pikmin seed, the plant will disperse nine Pikmin seeds of the corresponding colour and then wither and die. Queen candypop buds can only be found on specific sublevels of the games harder caves and usually appear in areas you will reach immediately before or after a boss battle, to help you increase the number of Pikmin at your disposal as a kind of preparation or recovery. When found in caves, queen candypop buds are often found in spaces where there are no enemies and where eggs and other candypop buds may be found. They also appear very frequently in the Pikmin 2 challenge mode. Olimar observes that in the natural relationship between the queen candypop buds and the Pikmin, the Pikmin seem to gain all the benefit, leading him to suggest that they may just be another type of Pikmin to begin with. Louie notes that consuming the flower leads to "spectacular, breathtaking indigestion ".

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