Johto Starters and Evolutions: The Chikorita Line

By Jo

It’s docile, green, and enjoys sunbathing on warm days. Chikorita, the Leaf Pokemon, is gentle and prefers to avoid confrontations. When in battle, it whips the leaf on its head around to intimidate its opponent, though the leaf also wafts a sweet fragrance which normally calms those around it. Chikorita can also use their leaves to detect humidity in the air and check the temperature. It is the Johto region’s grass-type starter.

Chikorita is the tallest of all the unevolved starters. Originally in Pokemon Gold and Silver, Chikorita’s body was yellow though it was changed in to green in Crystal to match its official artwork. In the anime, Chikorita has had the most trainers out of all the Johto starters. Chikorita’s body could resemble a sort of pod and it’s suspected that its design was loosely based off from a sauropod. Chikorita is the only starter to not have its Japanese name changed for the English release of its generation. Despite there being a one in seven chance of getting a female Chikorita, Ash in the Pokemon anime had one, which eventually evolved. Chikorita’s name derives from ‘chicory’, which is a flowering plant, and ‘ita’ is a feminine Spanish suffix that stands for something young or small.

After Chikorita reaches level 16, it evolves into Bayleef. Bayleef is the tallest of all middle stage starter evolutions and (like Chikorita) that could be mainly due to the leaf on its head. According to its pokédex entries, Bayleef’s ‘necklace’ of leaves surrounding its neck smell spicy, and the aroma normally tends to make those who smell it more energetic. Bayleef’s name is a misspelling of ‘bay leaf’, which is an herb that has a bitter and herbal taste (similar to thyme). Like its pre-evolution, Bayleaf is most-likely based off from sauropods as well – mainly, the Brontosaurus.

Once Bayleef reaches level 32, it evolves into its final form – Meganium. Meganium shares the same base stats with Venusaur, they just vary in order. According to Meganium’s pokedex entries, it seems to have some healing properties as it can revive dead grass and plants with just its breath and refresh anyone who stands beside it. The flower that wraps around its neck is said to give off an aroma that calms aggressive feelings. In battle, it gives off more of the scent to dampen its opponent’s fighting spirit. Oddly enough, Meganium and its pre-evolutions were unable to learn Sweet Scent by leveling up until Generation VI. Like Bayleef, Meganium is most-likely based off from sauropods. Meganium’s name seems to be a combination of the words ‘mega’ and ‘geranium’, which is a type of flowering plant.

The Chikorita Line is based off from plant-eating dinosaurs who were docile, gentle giants.

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