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"There's a poetry in the materials we use to construct our world of artifacts; it speaks of our long history as a technological species."
- William Gibson

Cannibal Grass  
  Genetically engineered grass that acts as a defense layer for a home.  

This was cannibal grass. Once the householder had sprayed it with an "ID acceptor" pheromone, the whole family and its pets lay on the grass long enough for it to "learn" their odors. Reprogramming the it required simultaneous exposure to both the pheromone and one or more of the original family members. Lacking that, whenever strange people or animals stepped onto the tinted grass nearest the house, its sharp blades would penetrate shoes, clothes, and skin, inject a paralytic agent, and sip away the victim's blood... the resident family could, if it wished, rescue wandering neighborhood children, birds and dogs. They could also deliver would-be burglars, peeping toms and other undesirables to the police...
From Sparrowhawk, by Thomas A. Easton.
Published by Ace Books in 1990
Additional resources -

Frank Herbert wrote about sheets of mobile, predatory leaf.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Sparrowhawk
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