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"What has allowed so many Psychopathic Personalities to rise so high in corporations and government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Sunflowers (Slaver Sunflowers)  
  Plants evolved to reflect light to burn natural enemies.  

I believe that the first appearance of the sunflowers is in World of Ptavvs, but Niven's Ringworld has more details.

The sunflowers were usually the only defense for a plantation, and everyone who had land had a sunflower border. It got the landowners used to isolation, so that they might not cooperate in wartime. Id give odds the tnuctipun had a spray to kill sunflowers.


(Sunflower from 'World of Ptavvs')

From World of Ptavvs, by Larry Niven.
Published by Worlds of Tomorrow in 1965
Additional resources -

Here's a longer quote from Ringworld:

A single species of plant evenly dispersed across the land, from here to the infinity-horizon. Each plant had a single blossom, and each blossom turned to follow Louis Wu as he dropped. A tremendous audience, silent and attentive.

He landed and dismounted beside one of the plants. The plant stood a foot high on a knobbly green stalk. Its single blossom was as big as a large man's face. The back of that blossom was stringy, as if laced with veins or tendons; and the inner surface was a smooth concave mirror. From its center protruded a short stalk ending in a dark green bulb.

All the flowers in sight watched him. He was bathed in the glare. Louis knew they were trying to kill bun, and he looked up somewhat uneasily; but the cloud cover held.

"You were right," he said, speaking into the intercom. "They're Slaver sunflowers. If the cloud cover hadn't come up, we'd have been dead the instant we rose over the mountains..."

There was no alien survivor anywhere in the domain of the sunflowers. No smaller plant grew between the stalks. Nothing flew. Nothing burrowed beneath the ashy-looking soil. On the plants themselves there were no blights, fungus growths, disease spots. If disease struck one of their own, the sunflowers would destroy it.

The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon. Its primary purpose was to focus sunlight on the green photosynthetic node at its center. But it could also focus to destroy a plant-eating animal or insect. The sunflowers burned all enemies. Everything that lives is the enemy of a photosynthesis-using plant; and everything that lived became fertilizer for the sunflowers.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from World of Ptavvs
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to World of Ptavvs
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Sunflowers (Slaver Sunflowers)-related news articles:
  - Laser-Armed Robots To Do Weed Control

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