The Poeritt (PO-air-ritt),
also called Weepberry, Cloudface, Rainflower, Greygrass, is known for its soft
gray flower that may remind some of a cloudy sky. These elegant flowers always
hang with their faces looking downwards, towards the earth, and have long,
slender leaves resembling blades of grass. The berries of the Poeritt are small
and gray and, though not commonly used in culinary applications, can be used for
dying or staining, and even for tattooing. These flowers are found mainly in
hilly plains in Northern Sarvonia.
Appearance. The Poeritt is a plant that, though typically appearing very grass-like because of the blade-shaped leaves that sprout from its stalk, is actually considered a weed.
Its tough vine-like stem grows horizontally along the ground, sometime zigzagging in a central area in order to make good use of the space it is given, and produces a plethora of stalks. For this reason, the Poeritt plant has a tendency to spread out, though at the same time appearing thick and lush, with many individual stalks. Also, because the plant's leaves rarely grow over a palmspan in height, these plants often have a very uniform, carpet-like appearance.
The leaves of the Poeritt plant are long and slender, resembling common grassblades. These leaves can grow up to a palmspan long, though most tend to grow between 6 and 8 nailsbreadths long from where it leaves the stem to the tip of the blade. The leaves tend to be a light green to a light grayish-green in color, with a faint sheen as though some light ashen sky were refracting from their surface. Artistically-minded scholars have described Poeritt leaves as "forged from herne", with the same metallic green shimmer that the herne ore in its worked state possess.
The flowers of the Poeritt are generally considered to be of a grayish-purple hue, though from a distance most appear to be a simple, charming gray. Each stalk holds one flower that contains five petals that come to a rounded point. The petals are connected at the base of the flower, but separate about half-way up the flower. The flowers are typically 3 nailsbreadths from where they connect to the stalk to the tips of the petals. The pistils, or female parts of the flower, extend past the petals and the five to seven stamens, male parts, which sprout around it. The flowers always appear to be looking downwards towards the earth, sometimes giving them an elegantly sorrowful appearance.
In autumn, each flower will have been replaced by a berry. Though it first may appear a dull green hue, this berry will eventually reach an even, ripe gray. These berries are almost perfectly rounded and tend to be 1.5 nailsbreadths in diameter. The juices of these berries are known for their dying or staining properties, though they do not have a pleasant taste and are not used in any known cuisine to date. The flower, and the resultant berry, gives off a delicate sour scent, tangy and fresh, but its taste is unpleasantly astringent and bitter.
Territory. The Poeritt is found primarily in valleys, hills, plains, and heaths of Northern Sarvonia, though it has also been found in the foothills of many mountainous regions. However, it is more commonly found in places such as the Peat Hillands, the Grasslands of Cahm’ha’dom, the Heath of Wilderon, the Wilshirer Heath, the Plains of Rilla, and the hilly plains between the Shaded Forest and the Mountains of Oro. Poeritt is also common in windy areas near the coast.
Usages. The Poeritt berry is commonly used for dying and staining. Sometimes it can be used to color a piece of clothing. The Mélad’rhím elves (also called the Gray Elves) use the berry to tattoo their skin, sometime in intricate and fascinatingly complex designs. Though the berry isn’t poisonous, it is not used for food or medicine because of the unpleasant taste. However, many find the scent of the berry to mimic that of the flower, which can be quite aromatic indeed.
The Poeritt has been ignored in the world of gardening thus far due to its total reluctance to grow in captivity. Some say that the Mélad’rhím elves have found some way to make this plant grow, but no evidence of this has been readily found. Many believe that the Gray Elves have a special, emotional connection with this plant.
Reproduction. The Poeritt buds form in early méh'avashín, just after the frosts of winter have melted away. By the end of méh'avashín, these buds will have blossomed into elegant gray flowers. These flowers produce a light yellow-gray pollen that may be caught in the wind and carried to other flowers upon Grothar’s breath, or may be carried from plant to plant on the body of a malise. Even if another flower’s pollen does not reach one of these flowers, each flower has the ability to pollinate itself.
These flowers may stay in bloom until the coming of efér'ypheró whereupon all their petals will fall away and the female part of the flower will slowly grow into a round, greenish berry. By chúh'querín the berry will have ripened to a soft gray color. The juice of this berry can easily stain fabric or skin.
Myth/Lore. The Mélad’rhím tell a tragic love story about a young elf whose lover abandoned him on the eve of their handfasting. From that time forwards he would wear only gray, his head hanging and tears always in his eyes, until one of the compassionate Gods took pity on him and transformed him into the Poeritt. A contemporary ballad which makes reference to this legend is given below, roughly translated from the far more melodic Styrásh...
"Weeping I sing
As the Poeritt weeps
You have forsaken me
And my love will never flower
Into its fullest fruit.
Weeping I wilt
As the Poeritt weeps
You have abandoned me
And the clouds of disfavour
Shadow my heart.
Weeping I die
As the Poeritt weeps
Hanging her gray head
Over the grasses
Above my new grave."