Brisulivan (bri-ZOO-lee-van), or Butterfly Bush, is an attractive,
sweet-smelling shrub, developed by the gnomes.
It is popular as a garden plant in many parts of
Santharia. Its name comes from the
gnomish "brisuli", meaning "butterflies", as
butterflies are insects this plant's yellow flowers attract. This shrub has two
varieties: Common Brisulivan, a type domesticated by
gnome horticulturist Gwor Bael from Wild
Brisulivan, which is a much rarer, less attractive plant growing sparsely along
Santharia's east coast.
Appearance. The Common Brisulivan is a hardy, low-lying shrub of about a fore in height (Wild Brisulivan has been known to grow up to a ped), with wide, deep green leaves, that are rounded and with a very glossy finish to them. Common Brisulivan is, in the height of its growth, covered with several pale yellow blooms, each a little less than a palmspan in diameter. The flowers have about six to twelve overlapping petals, slightly tapered towards the center, where the narrow yellow stamens are clustered. The wild variety has both smaller flowers and leaves, and the petals are more tapered, making a longer trumpet. Both varieties' flowers are extremely fragrant.
Brisulivan is a perennial plant. It flowers from late spring to late summer, the wild kind flowers just a little bit earlier, up to three weeks.
Territory. Common Brisulivan may be grown in virtually any garden in Santharia, provided it has direct sunlight for a few hours a day and the soil is kept moist, either by rain or manual watering. While popular everywhere, the hobbits of the Acornlands (the Dogodan Haflings) have taken a special interest in this plant. Wild Brisulivan tends to grow sparsely all along Santharia's eastern coast, and particularly in marshy areas.
Usages. Common Brisulivan is grown to brighten a garden and to attract butterflies. It is cheap, easy to get, and robust, so it is a popular choice for people who don't have the space or don't wish to invest a great deal of time into a garden. However, flowers are generally not taken inside the house, as they wilt very quickly after being cut.
The leaves of the Brisulivan are quite bitter and indigestible, but the petals, while quite bland in flavour are sometimes used to decorate cakes and other confections.
Wild Brisulivan's leaves and bark, when used in combination with other plants and essences, can form an antidote to the poison of the allia berry, if administered soon enough.
The essence of both varieties of the plant is often extracted from the petals to make a soothing oil, which is bottled and sold in alchemists', cosmetics shops, and markets. This oil can be burned in a clay ring above a fire, or a few drops can be scattered on sheets and clothes, and it is said to relax and calm the mind. Brisulivan essence is also used in several perfumes.
Reproduction. While grafting, transplanting, deadheading and other human interventions are common in the growth of the common variety of this plant, the pollination of both kinds is carried out by butterflies, bees, and other insects. The insects go into the throat of the flower to collect the nectar, and while doing so, get a dusting of pollen on their legs and bodies. When they visit the next flower, the plant's stigma collects the pollen from the other flower.
Origins. Wild Brisulivan has been growing along the eastern coast of Santharia for who knows how long. The gnome horticulturist, Gwor Bael, bred it for several years to produce Common Brisulivan. He wanted a smaller, more manageable plant, especially for small gnome, but he also originally intended Common Brisulivan to have medicinal uses. Bael, an alchemist, wanted to strengthen the antidotal properties present in Wild Brisulivan, but in his efforts to tame the plant, only managed to lessen them. Later attempts to emphasize the plant's beauty, fragrance and hardiness eventually obliterated medicinal properties altogether.
Information provided by Amera Tristis