THE PEAT GRASS

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES  - TERRITORY
USAGES - REPRODUCTION

Peat Grass is a tough plant growing primarily in the Stone Fields of Peat in Northern Sarvonia. This plant is colored in a grayish-green hue, which sometimes makes it hard to see against the stones of its habitat. The grass has the unique ability to hibernate during the cold seasons of autumn and winter and grows profusely during the warmer seasons during spring and summer. The plant is a vital part of the survival of the animals living in the Stone Fields.

Appearance. Peat Grass is a fairly short plant, rarely reaching over one palmspan in height. However, how wide it is can vary drastically due it its complex root system. Its fibrous roots are very weed-like, creeping along the crevices and nooks between the rocks and boulders of its harsh habitat. These roots grow outward, sometimes through the little amount of dirt available or else along the rock face. As they grow, more threadlike roots grow from this main root, called the source root, to plunge into the dirt anywhere they can and then, when they have enough energy, they will grow a stalk on which to sprout leaves and produce seeds. In time, may produce as many as six stalks; however, not all of these stalks bare seeds. Typically only the first stalk, also called the center stalk, will bare seeds. If this stalk is eaten, the plant will grow another; but will probably not produce seeds for another year.

Stalks are usually a grayish green, sometimes tinted with yellow. They are typically very straight, though they sometimes have knots from where thick, slender leaves protrude. These leaves are very strong and tough in order to survive the harsh environment they reside in. The leaves are rather long relative to their stem, usually averaging 4 or 5 nailsbreadth in length. They grow from the stem, unraveling from around it.

The seeds of the plant are seen in the late summer or early autumn, before things get too cold. These seeds are very small: only a few grains in diameter and slightly oval shaped. By mid-autumn they fall, rolling into dirt-filled cracks between the stones. These seeds remain inactive until spring, during which they will quickly work to get at least one slender stalk, a few leaves, and a thread-like set of roots. The plant will not begin reproducing or extending through a source root until their second year.
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Special Abilities. The Peat Grass, unlike many other plants has the ability to hibernate. During winter, the cold weather freezes the water within the plant. This causes the system to shut down, and the plant ‘sleeps’ throughout the winter. In spring, however, when the warmer weather melts the ice to water again, the system restarts and continues to grow. The Peat Grass grows rather fast during spring and summer, when the sun and warmth yield the elements required to flourish. This allows them to make up for growth lost during their hibernation. The plants are relatively tough in their ability to withstand their merciless environment.
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Territory. Peat Grass grows in the Stone Field of Peat, for which the plant is named. At times it may extend farther, pushing the boarder of the fields. They can sometimes be found in the Peat Hillands, but mostly reside in the Stone Fields.
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Usages. Peat Grass is useless to humans, elves, and other sentient races. The plant is small and it would take hundreds of Peat Grass seeds to fill a human hand. However, the grass is vital to the delicate ecosystem, being basic food for the scarce animals that reside in the fields including mice and small goats.
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Reproduction. As stated in the Appearance section, this grass has two means of propagating. One includes a plant’s roots expanding and creeping either under the ground, in the dirt, or moving along the rocks and stones that fill the fields. These source roots, as they’re called, can, at times, stretch out for leagues. As they move, the roots find suitable places to grow and release stationary thread-like roots and a stalk. The source roots is more of an umbilical chord between a mother and a child who is already born: it can be cut and each plant can live separated from each other, but nutrients can be exchanged in time of need. Also, disease can sometimes be spread through the source root.

Peat Grass can also reproduce though seeds. In the spring, a mature plant will make pollen-pockets from the center stem. In mid spring, they break and are carried by wind to other plants. Unlike most plants, the pollen is actually absorbed by the roots. A plant is often pollinated by itself or another plant of its same source root. Because the roots are often shallow, much pollen can be consumed by the plan. The seeds begin to form in early or mid summer and, by late summer or early autumn, are fully-grown. They fall during this time and, like their parent plant, hibernate until spring. They will then grow quickly, but will not reproduce their first year. They begin this process during their second year.
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Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile