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Eyktol Flora

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Below is a brief sketch of distinct flora indigenous to Eyktol.

Flora of Eyktol

Gloam Flower

Seasons: Annual, tends to bloom in late winter and early spring.

Appearance: A tall somewhat bristled stem with slim upright leaves and oval pods. When in bloom, it has papery petals in deep purple or red with a bright yellow heart ringed in white, black and plum.

Purposes: Commonly used to make the drug Mirage.

Clime: In the cooler regions of Eyktol, frequent among the redstones and dried stream-beds near the coast.

Acacia Tree

Seasons: Flowers in spring and leaves in fall.

Appearance: An occasionally thorny tree with fernlike leaves of finely divided leaflets. In Eyktol, it tends to be little taller that an aggressive shrub. In spring they bear clusters of yellow flowers similar in arrangement to grapes.

Purposes: Apart from their general benefit to animal life, they provide shade and honey made from its flowers is especially valuable as it never crystallizes.

Clime: Dried stream-beds and rocky valleys.

Crown of Leth

Seasons: Year round but flowers only in the first 60 days of fall.

Appearance: A twiggy cactus that can wrap around palms or roots amidst other plants. Best known for its vespertinal flowers which are over 4 inches wide, white and very fragrant. A cactus may have many flowers but each will only last for an evening before wilting. A single flower can perfume the air for a quarter mile.

Purposes: The flower is used primarily for fragrance. It's perfume is described as a soft floral mixed with warm vanilla tones.

Clime: At the base of rocky desert slopes or hiding under another plant. Most commonly found in the rocky regions between Ahnatep and the Redstone formations.

Vesper Pea

Seasons: Blooms in late fall and early winter

Appearance: The color tint to this vegetable gives it an unnatural glow in dim light. Its peas grow in pods along vines. The pods are inedible and must be sliced open to reveal the sweet bean inside.

Purposes: Vesper Peas are considered a tasty side dish. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They can be eaten raw as a snack or steamed with herbs. When cooked, its effects are much more potent. It is said Vesper Peas can produce a calming effect over the body. Eating too many may produce a drowsy or lethargic feeling. Eating more than 50 pods worth may produce a coma. Vesper Peas are most often sneaked into the meals of young children and pregnant women.

Clime: Grows along vines in the most temperate climates in Eyktol. It can be found in gardens or snaking along walls. They can also be find in coastal environments, thriving in the moisten air. It is a hardy vegetable, however the desert atmosphere still makes these a rare find.

Hik Fruit

Seasons: Year-round.

Appearance: The Hik Fruit is a parasite, growing alongside other nutrient rich trees and stealing their water supply. Possessing a scaly outer shell, it protects itself from the hot sun, while its opening emits rotten smells. Inside the opening are sensitive "hairs". When touched, they will emit an even stronger smelling odor.

Purposes: There have been several disputes about whether the Hik is a fruit or a fungi. In its natural form, it tastes terrible. However, in the desert, one cannot turn down such an able source of water and nutrients. Only after several hours drying the plucked fruit in the sun, will the renk odor fade. Because of the fruit's water intake, it makes an excellent traveling food. When dried, the fruit can be cut into long moist strips, similar to a jerky. Because of the plant's biochemical makeup, its moisture does not get evaporated by the hot desert sun. When bitten, naturally sweet juices from the fruit will pour out and quench thirst and hunger as one.

Clime: The desert hardened areas of Eyktol. Growing at the base of desert trees, like the Acacai, it sucks off their precious water supply.

Sky Twine

Seasons: Blooms with spring and lasts until early summer.

Appearance: A bright blue flower that resembles miniature sunflowers. It is rarely over five feet high, but usually grows higher than two. The hairy nature of the leaves gives them a grayish color.

Purposes: Sky Twine has multiple uses, the most common being as a remedy for toothache. It is also widely used by craftsmen as a glue or sealing agent, while being found in common homes in the form of inexpensive incense.

Clime: Mostly found in coastal and semi-desert areas, it tends to grow on slopes. Very common.

Opal Berry

Seasons: Biannually, flowering in both early spring and late summer/early fall.

Appearance: Growing on thorny bushes in clumps, Opalberries are iridescent as their namesake. The desert air has made this flowering bush evolve so that its outer coat is protected against the heat. They are pure white when first budding, with deep purple flowers. As the season wears on, the flowers will lighten in color and the berries will darken to the same shade as the flower.

Purposes: There is no end to what can be done with this fruit. It can be eaten raw as a sweet tangy snack, or cooked into jams, preservatives, pies and tarts. It has been known to make a luscious wine, and be used for a deep indigo dye.

Clime: Coastal or temperate areas of Eyktol.

Viper Cucumber

Seasons: Blooms in late spring, produces fruit from midsummer to late fall.

Appearance: Elongated and often elaborately curved, these slender, snake-like cucumbers range in length from 8-12 inches. Their furrowed, ridged malachite- and jade-green-striped skin is quite tough and hard, but can be sliced or peeled off to reveal spongy, moist flesh embedded with round white seeds. They grow along sprawling ground vines with stiff, hairy stems and leaves and small yellow flowers.

Purposes: The flesh has a delicate, slightly astringent flavor that makes it a fresh, cooling culinary accent, particularly for heavily spiced or piquant dishes. They can be eaten raw once peeled, but are also enjoyed in sauces, soups, or light stews. Eating a cucumber before it has fully ripened can cause a burning sensation in one's mouth, though.

Clime: They grow wild mostly in the rockier, scrubby regions of Eyktol, though they are also cultivated in vegetable gardens upon trellises or other supporting frames by the farmers owing fealty to the House of the West Winds.

Eypha's Tears Mushroom

Seasons: Year-round

Appearance: These mushrooms tend to grow in overlapping clusters in shadowy, sheltered nooks on cavern floors or along cave walls. About 2-4 inches in diameter, the pure white caps are smooth and slightly translucent and reflect ambient light with a distinctively wet, shiny luster. The darker-hued stems often make it seem as though the caps are floating above the ground, lending the mushrooms an otherworldly air.

Purposes: Gelatinous but not slimy in texture, the mushrooms are edible, but bland in flavor. They can be dried, pickled, or marinated. The Eypharians credit the mushrooms with anti-inflammatory properties and hold that they sprang from the tears shed by Eypha as she fled from her husband; the Kalanue who frequent the redstone formations scoff at the tale, but harvest the mushrooms nevertheless.

Clime: They are only found inside the caves within the redstone formations of Eyktol, through which ancient rivers once ran and in which water still bubbles in the depths.

Velvet Rose

Seasons: Typically begins to bloom mid-spring, and continues until the fall season.

Appearance: Resembles the common rose with several key differences. Its petals are always coloured lavender and have a soft, fleecy texture to them. The thorns on the flower's long green stem enable it to soak up extra water, encouraging survival in the rough desert. The rose gives off a distinct floral scent with a hint of vanilla.

Purposes: Valued primarily for aesthetic purposes. Perfumers also like to use the flower's essential oils in their fragrances.

Clime: The Velvet Rose is an uncommon strain of rose native to the Eyktol region. Although it is hardier than roses indigenous to other regions of Mizahar, it can be found in only the most temperate Eyktolian environments (mainly oases). It has, however, been known to grow in the gardens of Ahnatep and Wadrass.