THE LIU'LIAN TREE

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Liu値ian Tree is most known for its fruit, with its thick, thorn-covered outer husk and its distinctive odour. For this reason, these fruits are also known as "Reekthorns" or "Foul Melons", sometimes even "King of Fruits" because of its rarity. The Liu値ian entices people with the edible yellow flesh which emits the strong odour, and is regarded either as fragrant and addictive, or overpowering and offensive. This tree is found only in the rainforests of south-western Nybelmar, but the fruit is picked early before ripening and imported over to Sarvonia where it is quite popular.

Appearance. Liu値ian Trees are made of softwood, reaching up to 50 peds in tropical forests, and normally stand straight up with a rough, peeling trunk, which in the adult tree can reach more than a ped in width. The bark on the trunk of a Liu値ian tree is dark brown and peels off irregularly. Liu値ian Tree branches may be straight or curved; it varies per individual tree and depends on the amount of sunlight exposure. The trees thin, smaller branches are coated with copper or grayish scales when younger.

The Liu値ian Trees drooping leaves look simple, but are attractive all the same, and are up to about 2 palmspans long, and up to 8 nailsbreadths long on average. They are light or dark green; the underside has a scaly appearance, sometimes brown but more often with a golden sheen. The leaves stretch out as time passes; the particular shades of green they have, along with their golden undersides, give the trees a very attractive and almost glowing appearance, admired by many.

Liu値ian flowers have a strong fragrance, and are up to 7 nailsbreadths long. They grow in clusters of 1 to 45 individual flowers per cluster. These flower clusters hang from the main and smaller branches, or directly from the trunk of the tree. As it gets older, the outer fleshy part of the flower divides to reveal 5 united sepals and 5 petals, which match the colour of the edible pulp that will develop inside the fruit; trees with yellowish flowers produce yellow-fleshed Liu値ians, which is the most common colour of Liu'lians, while the more unique plants with white or reddish petals will have white or reddish fleshed fruit.

Inside the Liu値ian fruit痴 spiky skin, it is divided into sections and within the smooth white walls of each section are three or four large cream-beige seeds, each one enclosed in a fleshy covering which can be pale cream to bright yellow in colour (depending on the variety of Liu値ian rather than its stage of ripeness). The taste of this fleshy fruit often receives praise from those who dare to try it, in spite of the smell.
Return to the top

Territory. No Liu値ian Trees have been found outside the continent of Nybelmar. It prefers hotter climates, though it has been successfully grown in areas with fairly cool temperatures, and it cannot survive in deserts for very long. That is why it is only found in certain areas of south-western Nybelmar, where the climate is just right for it.
Return to the top

Usages. The edible fruit of the Liu値ian tree is more popular in the continents of Nybelmar and Sarvonia than the rest of Caelereth. Though some people are repulsed by the Liu値ian痴 smell, many find that they get hooked to it after they have tried the fruit twice. It appears to be well-liked among the Nybelmarian apes and monkeys, like the capou-capou, the makaka and the jupa ape, if they are able to get through the thorny husk.

One can often find Liu値ians at parties, festivals and celebrations, where people will gather round as someone chops the fruit open with an axe. Because it is difficult for Liu値ians to disperse seeds naturally, they are very rare, and older trees are even rarer. Although fruit production decreases in very old trees, the fruit quality tends to noticeably increase with age, and fruit from older trees is greatly prized.

Medicinally, in some areas, parasitic worms are said to be expelled by eating Liu値ian fruits; fevers are said to be reduced by drinking a tea of the leaves and roots, or applying Liu値ian leaf juice to the head; swellings and skin diseases are said to be aided in healing by applying a tea of the leaves and fruits. The people who originally discovered the use of these medicinal values were the Krean men, who kept it a secret, so very few outside that tribe know about it today.
Return to the top

Reproduction. Liu値ian flowers open at dusk and are visited by small flying bats. The bats play an important role because the flowers must be cross-pollinated in order to produce fruit. By midnight most pollen has been shed and most flower parts fall to the ground. Although Liu値ian flowers are much visited by many insects including malises and moths, herbalists claim that the shape of the Liu'lian's flowers makes it much easier for them to be pollinated by bats than by insects during the evening.
Return to the top

Myth/Lore. In areas where Liu値ians aren稚 imported, they are never picked, but left to ripen and fall - ensuring they are perfectly ripe. A common saying is "a Liu値ian has eyes and can see where it is falling". This is because (so the saying goes) the fruit never falls during daylight hours when people may be hurt by their size, vicious spines and the velocity gathered as they hurtle to the ground, but rather in the hours when honest citizens certainly would not be prowling under Liu値ian Trees.

The saying was originally formed by the Krean men as an attempt to prevent little children from growing up to be criminals; the idea was to scare them into thinking that if they went about at night doing anything bad, they might end up with a severe injury to their heads. But over the years, it has gathered more importance, and even people who are not superstitious would have heard of this saying.
Return to the top

 Date of last edit 20th Burning Heavens 1667 a.S.

Information provided by Alassiel Telrnya View Profile