THE CERUBELL SQUASH VEGETABLE

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Cerubell Squash, despite the name, has no relation to the cerubell flower save for in colour. While the leaves of the Cerubell Squash are deep green, the squash itself is a deep purple-blue colour with darker stripes. The squash is a finicky plant that requires lots of water and sunlight to grow, and is cultivated primarily in the mid- to northern areas of Santharia.

Appearance. The Cerubell Squash is a vining plant, its tendrils creeping out across the soil and laying down roots. It may attach itself to the bottoms of trellises, but is not a climbing plant, preferring to press itself against the sweet, nurturing earth. A single Cerubell Squash plant can occupy a fairly large space, sometimes as large as two peds by two peds, though it is often difficult to define where one plant ends and another begins.

The leaves of the Cerubell Squash look much like large maple leaves, having five lobes that come to a point and rough, jagged edges. The leaves, however, are fairly flaccid, and have a gentle underside, leading to the notion that Brownies might use the leaves as blankets in the autumn (an unfounded supposition, it should be added). The leaves are of a dark green, touched with a bluish hue.

Before bursting with squash, the plant first produces a small flower, usually in late summer when the heat is just beginning to relinquish its grip. This flower, bright yellow in colour, stands out among the dark-hued leaves and attracts malise and other insects to the bloom. The flower is small, no bigger than a maidenís ring finger, and has five long, silky petals that each come to points. The flowers last a few weeks before the wind blows the petals away and the squash begins to form.

The Cerubell Squash turns from light green to light blue-ish green to light blue-ish purple, ripening to color. It has darker stripes decorating its hard exterior, and grows as large as a fore, being roughly oval-shaped (though some form into melon-like spheres). The inside is lighter, more akin to the color of the
cerubell flower, and fleshy. In the very center is a pocket for the seeds, which are long, narrow, and colored a light purple-gray. The Cerubell Squash is harvested middle to late autumn. Return to the top

Territory. The Cerubell Squash grows in selected regions, primarily In the province of Vardżnn, Nermeran, and Enthronia, but also in parts of Xaramon. Expert gardeners have even managed to grow it in the province of Sanguia though the squash are generally smaller and not quite as flavorful as in the north.

The Cerubell Squash can be a particular plant, requiring a lot of sunlight and plenty of water. Too much shade and the squash doesnít ripen properly. Too little water and it withers. The best, most healthy Cerubell Squash tends to come out of the Silvermarshes and villages along the Vandrina River where water is easy to come by and sunlight is abundant.
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Usages. The Cerubell Squash is consumed primarily as a food item, particular by humans and hobbits. Harvested in mid to late autumn, the squash is most often used in baked goods, like breads and pies, where only a little sugar is used to supplement its already sweet taste. It is also occasionally serves mashed, usually with butter and sometimes with a little extra sugar to taste (for those with a sweet tooth). Itís worth noting that the Cerubell Squash tends to require a long cooking time to soften it; when harvested, the fleshy insides are often pretty tough, but after a few hours cooking, they soften and are great in any number of delectable dishes.

In a medicinal sense, Cerubell Squash is supposedly good for removing toxins from the body. Ingesting it is regarded as helping remove toxins from body. Some people (particularly women), will apply warm, cooked Cerubell Squash to their skin to soften it and remove toxins. It is sometimes used as a facemask, and other times used over rashes, though the effectiveness of these measures is questionable.

Many herbalists will instead tell you that the rather bitter seed of the Cerubell Squash has more benefit for the body. Herbalists will collect these seeds, mash them up with mortal and pestle, and create a paste that they insist is more effective at removing toxins - particularly the toxins found in bee stings and insect bites. When applied to fresh stings or bites, this paste can help to cool the skin and draw out toxins.
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Reproduction. Like many plants, the Cerubell Squash springs from a seed planted in the fresh, moist soil. It is best to plant seeds in mid-summer, and space them at least a ped and a half apart to give each seed space to grow. Particularly when first planting the squash, it is important to water it frequently: most gardeners will tell you to water it two to three times a day to ensure it is properly hydrated.

The seeds begin to sprout soon after planting, and if properly watered and given sufficient sunlight, can vine out with amazing fecundity. In late summer, the plant will produce its yellow flowers, little beacons of nectar for malise and other insects. In early autumn, the petals fall away and the squash begins to form. Usually by mid to late autumn, the squash is ready to be harvested, and the seeds inside can be saved for the next season.
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Myth/Lore. The Cerubell Squash is not widely connected to any story or myth, but is connected to some unfounded beliefs, including that Brownies use the Cerubell Squash leaves as blankets. Among others, it is not Brownies by domovidges that use the leaves as blankets or clothing, and that the little creatures use the squash itself as houses, barns, or carriages pulled by tareps or other woodland creatures. It should be noted that most of those who hold this belief have never actually met Brownies or domovidges.
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 Date of last edit 18th Turning Star 1673 a.S.

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