From the Super Mario Wiki
The three varieties of Panser.
Pansers are enemies commonly found in the land of Subcon in the game Super Mario Bros. 2. They, along with Pokeys, are the only known hostile plant species in Subcon. There are four types of Pansers: red, green, gray and pink. The red version will stay in one place and shoot three fireballs in Mario's, Luigi's, Toad's, or Princess Peach's direction, green and gray (just green in the remake) will patrol an area and shoot fireballs straight up, and the most powerful, the pink (blue in the remake), will chase Mario or his friends and shoot three fireballs. These enemies can only be defeated by throwing another enemy or a Mushroom Block at them, and are sometimes an excessively annoying enemy. They somewhat resemble Fire Flowers.
They are much like the Volcano Lotus and the Lava Lotus (as well as Pompon Flowers) of later games. In fact, they share the same Japanese name as the Volcano Lotus - Ponkey - meaning that the Volcano Lotus is a redesigned Panser. A key difference between the Panser of Subcon and the Volcano Lotus of Dinosaur Land and Vibe Island is that the former walks and is an aggressive fighter, whereas the latter is immobile and seems to be defending itself.
Names in other languages
- Excluding Wart, Pansers were the only enemy from Super Mario Bros. 2 to not appear in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!; though they were possibly amalgamated with Piranha Plants, which could exhale fireballs, much like Pansers, on the show.
- Pansers likely got their name a combination of the word pansy, a type of flower, and Panzer- a type of German tank, perhaps in reference to the ability to the plant's ability to throw fireballs.
- Leafan, an enemy in Kirby's Return to Dream Land is similar and has almost identical attacks.