THE ERISSA'S TEARS FLOWER ("YNIA")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

Erissa's Tears is the commonly used name for the what the elves know as the "Ynia". It is a tiny light purple flower that is usually the first to appear at the end of winter, often emerging as the snow is receding.

Erissa's Tears
Image description. The tiny Ynia flower, also called "Erissa's Tear". Picture drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. This tiny flower stands about three nailsbreadths high. The heart shaped dark green leaves are a nailsbreadth in width circling the dark green stem close to the ground. There are usually three leaves circling the thin stem. The small flower consisting of four small circular petals each less than a nailsbreadth across that sit flat on top its straight stem. Colour of this tiny flower can range from a light purple similar to allia to a deep dark purple, but lighter shades are more predominant. In the center with the stamen is a white spot. The leaves and stem of the Yneia are covered with a type of wax unique to this plant which will harden during the plants growth period. This wax coating which give the leaves their bright sheen is believed to protect the plant from various grubs and midges. Return to the top

Territory. This flower can be found all over the continent of Sarvonia, whether it is along the shores of the sea or high in a mountain pass. The flower needs to be in full sunlight so it is mostly found in open areas like meadows, fields or southern slopes of mountains, e.g. at the Nirmenith Mountains in southern Santharia. Although more commonly found in the southern part of Sarvonia, the Yneia has been known to grow briefly during the summer in some of the more northern regions.
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Usages. There are no known uses for this flower. Although, many a maiden have been known to braid this tiny flower into their hair before attending one of the spring fairs.

Reproduction. The Yneia is often the first green thing to be seen in the snow across the continent of Sarvonia often taken as the first sign of spring. Although it’s stem and dark green leaves will begin to grow during the later parts of the month of Molten Ice, the plant will not begin to bud and bloom until Awakening Earth. With a very few exceptions, the yneia blooms from the beginning of Awakening Earth until late Changing Winds. The plant seems to thrive in the moist environment that melting snows create and soon withers without the presence of wet ground. A notoriously hard to grow plant, all efforts to cultivate the Yneia in tamed gardens have failed since although it needs moist wet ground to grow and thrive, it can be easily overwatered. Attempts by Brownies to grow this plant have recently been more successful through means of indirect watering such as through use of chunks of ice or planting thick absorbent cloth around the plant and then watering the cloth instead of the ground to allow moisture to slowly steep through the ground.

In environments where a constant indirect source of water is provided, such as in places where snow melts more slowly such as higher elevations and around the outer edges of marshes, the Yneia will continue to bloom until the month of Rising Sun.

Throughout its growth period, the protective wax which covers the plant will begin to harden until in at the beginning of the month of Changing Winds both the stem and leaves of the plant are unbendable. When the wax is hardened if the plant has been successfully pollinated, the stamen harden as well as it turns a dark brown color signifying the presence of seeds inside the protective stamen. Meanwhile, the roots of the plant will wither and die leaving the stem unanchored to the ground. Released from the ground, the plant will be blown away with the slightest breath of wind. The leaves and stems now hard spin in high winds allowing the planta kind of flight as long as the wind blows. The sight of the blooms spinning through the air is a delight to children who will often try to mimic the actions of the wind by rubbing the stem in their hands until the leaves spin and then letting the flower go. Born by the wind, the Yneia will come to rest in some unusual places, but some of the plants thus carried will land in places suitable for growth. Upon landing the brown stamen will burst asunder hopefully further scattering its seeds unto fertile soil where the seeds will begin the slow process of developing roots until early spring when the plant will once again bloom for its brief time. This same action of scattering seeds to due impact is also often accomplished by children who use the Yneia as their playthings.

Many small insects, butterflies, and moths are responsible for the pollination of this plant, the type of species depending on the location. From the blue myrmex, to dalór, to the flitter twitch butterfly, Erissa’s Tears do not lack for insects to pollinate them to assure they bloom again in the spring. 
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Myth/Lore. Most of the inhabitants on the Sarvonian continent have heard about or know of the selfish and cold-hearted girl who became the Snow Maiden. The stories may differ slightly and the name may be Arysa, Erris or similar, but all end the same way. It is believed, since these tiny flowers come so close to winter's end, they are the tears shed by Erissa when winter is giving way to the warmth of spring. Some say they are tears of sorrow for what she has lost and repentance. Others claim they are tears of rage that once again she has lost dominance to the warmth of the world.
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 Date of last edit 25th Rising Sun 1670 a.S.

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