THE MALLOWDROP PLANT

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

This plant, with its bright Cyhalloi snow petals tipped with a faint waterberry blue colouring, is a beautiful sight. It also has many other uses besides looking pretty. Almost every part of the Mallowdrop plant has a medicinal use, and can even be made into a healthy candy for children called a "Mallowdrop". This has led to the Santharian region of Enthronia becoming populated with many large plantations growing the plant. This plant can survive anywhere that is sunny and moist during the spring and summer. The roots can survive a light winter, and the next spring and summer the plant will grow back even larger. In undisturbed areas, they have even grown to the height of an average human.

Appearance. The size of the Mallowdrop Plant varies, depending on how many years it has been growing for. The largest on record was two peds and a palmspan, and this was grown by a farmer in the Twynor grasslands. There are a few stories that get told of ones as tall as trees, but these are dismissed as myths.

The pale green stem is usually around a nailsbreadth wide, and has thin, diamond shaped leaves. The number of leaves on the stem depends on how many years the plant has been growing for. Each year, the stem grows to be larger and a leaf is added in this new area of the stem on the opposite side of last yearís leaf.

The flower is about a palmspan, with five large petals that overlap at the bases. Each petal has white near the center that quickly fades to a pale blue or light purple at the tips. If you look closely you can usually see a few strands of colour reaching down toward the center of the plant just before the transition of colours begin.

The roots of this plant are usually a grey colour and only a grain wide the first year. This is when the plant is most vulnerable. Even a small animal can stunt the growth of the plant. Each year, the roots grow to be thicker, as well as reach deeper and farther out into the ground. This helps the plant become stronger and more durable. Large Mallowdrop plants can survive through most weather and can usually take a slight beating from animals before being affected. If multiple Mallowdrop plants grow near each other, the roots will often become entangled, providing further strength for each plant.

After the flower dies in fall, a pod containing seeds will grow in its place. The pod usually will be a few nailsbreadth wide and long and be a light green colour. The pod will slowly fade to a grayish colour, and this is the time to harvest the pod for more seeds by cutting the pod from the plant.

The seeds of the Mallowdrop plant are black, and around the size of a sunflower seed. In each pod, you can find between five and ten seeds. Each seed has the potential to become a large, beautiful flower. There is research being done that may suggest that the seeds that come from a fast growing plant, also grow fast, and seeds from a slow growing plant, grow slow. This claim has not yet been confirmed.
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Territory. The Mallowdrop plant is mainly seen throughout the Enthronia Province of
Santharia and can even be seen growing wildly in the Heaths of Wilderon. Though these are the most common places for Mallowdrop plants, it can grow anywhere with enough sunlight and moisture in the soil.

There are a few large estates scattered throughout southern
Santharia, especially in the Enthronia province, filled with Mallowdrop plants. Thus Enthronia is the main exporter of Mallowdrop plants, and when traveling through the countryside, you may pass several leagues filled with the plant. Within Enthronia, the port city of Carmalad is especially known for trading these plants.

Some who want to have a challenge have also bought seeds to grow Mallowdrop plants around their home, and to try and see how large they can grow them. Anywhere that someone has sowed a seed and left can now be found with several Mallowdrop plants around it. The plants are quick to populate an area when the conditions are ideal.
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Usages. The Mallowdrop plant has many uses, most of them being medicinal. Every part of the plant can be used in some way. Those that use it, often dig the whole plant up in late fall, just after the pod begins to grow. The sap in the roots and stem is used to make a tea that can soothe a sore throat and help relieve coughing. It can also be made into a candy that will help an upset stomach. The slimy sap can even be applied to cuts to help prevent infection.

A person can also chew on the bitter petals, and have a sweet smell placed upon their breath. If chewed daily, it is said that the person's teeth will never turn yellow.
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Reproduction. The Mallowdrop plant self pollinates, and produces a pod of seeds in late fall. In each pod, there is five to ten seeds. The pod will fade to a grey and as the plant starts to die, the pod will drop off and be buried into the ground.

Once in the ground it will survive through winter and then begin growing the next spring. It is thought to survive the winter by freezing along with the top layer of the ground. Somehow the contents of the pod arenít destroyed by the freeze and able to begin growing once the pod and ground thaw.

When the Mallowdrop plant is not grown by farmers, and left undisturbed in the wild, only one or two seeds will survive to be plants. These two seeds that grow fastest will usually choke off the growth of other plants and take up the space themselves. Their roots will become entwined and help strengthen each other.
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Myth/Lore. It is thought that the Mallowdrop plant originated in region surrounding Carmalad. After it was found to have medicinal uses, it was then sold or traded and eventually spread all over Santharia. Some even took it all the way north to the Heaths of Wilderon, where you can find it growing wildly. This area is one of the few places of the north that is known to support the Mallowdrop plant. The roots don't seem to be able to with-stand the harsh winters of the north anywhere else.

The plant was named "Mallowdrop" after the candy that can be made from it. The healthy treat is often given out to children by concerned parents. It will satisfy the childís craving for a candy, but will still be healthy for them to eat.

There are also stories of Mallowdrop plants that grow as tall as trees. Usually the stories claim that this "Mallowdrop Tree" is on the continent of Nybelmar, in the deep unknown forests. These stories have never been confirmed and are considered myth.
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 Date of last edit 22nd Turning Star 1671 a.S.

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