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9th Interval

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Author Topic: Info Cacti Overview  (Read 130 times)

Offline Southern Records

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Cacti Overview
« on: January 31, 2019, 11:05:14 AM »
Landing to 9th Pass
There were many native species of succulent and cacti on Pern when the colonists arrived during the First and Second Crossing. They found many that were similar to the Terran species they had come to know, but a few were so alien that it was hard to think of them as cacti -- like the strange Flit Eater.  They found that some species were poisonous while others were a good source of hydration and/or nutrition.

There was already an abundance of cacti on Pern, but the colonists brought more with them. As they cross-pollinated with the native species, there were soon hybrids of all sorts throughout the continents of Pern.

9th Interval
Only a few species have survived from the Southern and Northern continents; most of these were stranglers preserved by Farmers or Holders in the mass exodus from their homes to Fort Weyr and Fort Hold. Upon arrival at Fort Island, a few new species were found along the coastline, in the mountains, and in the forest.

Moon Spine:

Description: Moon Spine is a cactus native to the Northern Continent with vine-like stems. It has long, tangled arms that are no thicker around than three fingers with small areoles that hold 50-60 decent-sized needles each. It tends to grow in mountain areas and amongst rocky outcroppings in a cliff face or mountain side. It holds large, pale pink to cream white bulbs on the ends of small arms off-shooting from the main stems that bloom into large white flowers at night.
Uses: The vanilla-orange scent was one extracted from the flowers and used for cooking and perfume before and during the beginning of the 9th Pass.

Weaver's Needle:

Description: Stuck somewhere between a Terran saguaro and barrel cactus, this beauty can be a bit confusing. Weaver’s Needles grow to be about 8 to 9 feet tall and sport soft, downy needles until they reach a mature height of 4 feet; at this age, the smaller spines give way to longer hardened ones. Their girth is slender compared to the their rather tall height, making them vulnerable to severe winds and heavy storms. They swell and shrink in girth based upon their water content and are usually bright to Hunter green in color. During spring they sprout bright, slender flowers roughly the size an adult man's forearm
Uses: The long, nimble needles are good for sewing soft and delicate material. In the past, these cacti were grown and cultivated just for their needles. Unlike metal needles, the flexibility of the needle allowed for it to give to the softer fabric, and the narrow circumference --difficult to achieve with metal -- allowed for it to slip through the delicate fabric without causing damage. 

Stone Plant:

Description: This native species is small and often times hard to see due to is greenish-brown color. The cactus consists of many small tubercles, with a single areole at the tip, growing from one large single root. They rarely grow in clusters and are usually lone plants, only adding to their exclusivity. When it blooms, it is normally the large pink flower that gives it away. This is one of the few spineless cacti. It received its name due to the rock-like texture of its bulbs.
Uses: During the spring, before the plant blooms, the fruit within the cactus is very meaty and makes a particularly sweet but tart jam or jelly. The meat of the plant can be ingested and is very bland to taste but normally full of stored moisture, making it a good source of water.

Spoiler for Subspecies::

Bulbous Stone Plant:

Description: Similar to its parent plant, it is made up of multiple small bulbs and one large base root. Unlike its parent plant, each bulb looks smoother owing to a thick, meaty bunch of leaves. It is greener in color and has multiple spineless areoles. A small white flower grows from the center.
Uses: When the flower is dried and steeped in tea in small doses, it is known to help alleviate depression, anxiety, and help with personality issues that come with massive head trauma. However, when the flower is ingested raw or in large doses when dried, it is known to cause increased heart rate, sweating, and hallucinations.

The meat of the plant can be ingested with no adverse issues and like its parent plant is a good source of moisture.

Fort Palm:

Description: This slow-growing plant is native only to Fort Island. It can grow up to 57" inches tall with a flower of 2 feet in width, looking like something akin to a Terran coconut palm. This cactus has long, slender, grayish-green tubercles that can reach up to 6 or 7 feet on an adult specimen. Each tubercle is tipped with long, spindly, fleshy fingers that are covered in fine hairs that can cause skin irritation.
Uses: When the plant is harvested just before flowering, it can be pressure heated and then distilled and turned into a very earthy but sweet and potent alcohol. This is a time-consuming process, and it can take up to 4 to 5 plants just to get 60 ounces of fluid.

Wriggler's Mass:

Description: Like the name implies, this native cactus looks like a group of wrigglers held together at one end. This spindly plant can grow as long as man is tall with flowers that either sprout from the center of its long fleshy tendrils or on the tip of each tendril, depending upon the exact sub-species. It was native to the most arid areas of the Southern Continent, and only a few species survived from people bringing it with them during their migrations across the continents during the 9th Pass.
Uses: These plants have no medicinal or nutritional value but make easy decorative additions. Due to the bulbus root system, they need no soil or moss to live. If one cultivates the plant with the root bulb, it can simply be placed on a ledge or in a glass. Misting it with water once or twice a week is sufficient enough to keep this hardy plant alive and blooming.

Aloh Verta:

Description: This plant is not a native to Pern. It was brought over with the original colonists and was once known by its Terran name of Aloe Vera. This large plant survived well in the tropical regions of Pern before the Pass.

This cactus is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant that grows to 35-49 inches tall, spreading by offshoots. The edges of the leaves are serrated and have small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 180 cm tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla that is 4-6 cm long.
Uses: When the meat, or gel, is extracted from within the leaf, it can be used as a laxative if ingested or applied to minor sunburns or small cuts for soothing, cool relief.

Flit Eater

These are something straight out of a horror story. This plant can grow to the size of a toddler with a carnivorous leaf the size of a canine’s head. Four or five leaves shoot out from a central bulbous root in the ground by thick, spine covered stems that reach around 10 to 12' inches in length.  Bright green with small splotches of a darker hue, it gives this plant perfect camouflage in green foliage -- allowing it to surprise its victims. The inner sides of the leaf are often bright colors to attract insects, birds, and even, like its name implies, small unsuspecting flits. A large, brightly colored flower sprouts from the center of leaves 4' into the air and gives off a very pungent odor.

They bulbous root is very nutritious and is eaten like a Terran potato. The toxin stored in the sacks just below the leaf can be harvested and used as a natural insecticide on farm crops.

Credited to Beasty for use on SWW; edits and additions made by SirAlahn
This is the admin account for Southern Winds Weyr. All records, notes, and items of import come from here.

If you have questions, shoot us a PM @ Southern Records!

SWW Staff
SanctifiedSavage || SirAlahn || Weyrhandler


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