THE SWEETSIP VINE ("SUNBENGIAN", "ASÉN'BEJÓN")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - ORIGINS

The Sweetsip Vine or Asén'bejón in Styrásh (lit. "Sweet Thrive") is native to Nybelmar, but has made its way to Sarvonia. The Asén'bejón is a most hardy plant and has a tendency to multiply with great ease. Its cone like blossoms release a pleasantly sweet smell and can be used in the finest sweet pies, butters, breads, and cakes. Sweetsip also has many other common names such as: Love o' Malise, Sunbengian, and Nectarene.

Appearance. At first glance the Asén'bejón looks to be a tree but upon closer inspection this tree turns out to really be a vine that has twisted and turned its way into a tree-like appearance. These "tree" vines can grow to be about 2-3 ped high and 1.5-2 ped wide if allowed to grow wild. The vine itself starts out thin, only about a nailsbreadth around, but over a short period of time this vine becomes thick and firm measuring about a palmspan around so that it can support the weight of itself as it grows upright. Because the vine starts out so thin it must use another object such as a small tree or tall bush to help it grow upright. As the vine thickens it takes on a more bark-like apperance and begins to choke and kill the smaller vegetation giving the vine a solid base structure and inhancing its tree-like appearance.

This vine gains its name due to the cone shaped blossoms that cover the vine in clusters. A cluster usually contains three to four blossoms. Each blossom can reach the measurement of eight nailsbreadth long with the opening of the blossom being the widest part (about four nailsbreadth across) and narrowing down until the blossom meets the vine creating a cone or funnel shape blossom. These blossoms come a in wide variety of colours from pink to white, to blue and purple.
Return to the top

Territory. The Sweetsip Vine can tolerate extreme heats, but will not produce much nectar if it does not have regular amounts of water. For this reason the plant thrives in most of Southern Sarvonia, except the desert which reduces this luscious plant to a striveled up lump of dust. This plant needs regular amounts of water to produce the nectar it is so highly prized for. Some bakers who have grown this plant at their homes have said that given extra amounts of water in well draining soil (to prevent root rot) has resulted in increased nectar amounts.

Asén'bejón
can be found all over itss native continent of Nybelmar, mostly in the territory of the Empire of Korweyn and Anis Anpagan, but seems to thrive in the south-central region. In Sarvonia the Sweetsip can be most predominately found in the southern region, but may also be seen in the warmer parts of south Northern Sarvonia.
Return to the top

Usages. This plant is used in many ways. The flower can be pressed and the sweet smelling oil may be extracted to make perfumes or may be added to bath water. After the oil is extracted it is filtered to strain out any petals that may have inadvertently been mixed in with the oil during the pressing process.

The blossom of the Asén'bejón may also be crushed and rubbed on the body for light but not long lasting smell. Crushing the blossoms also results in a slight yellow/orangish stain from the pollen. The blossom of the Sweetsip is edible though is does not have much flavour. Usually bakers will use the blossoms of the Sweetsip in decorations on cakes or fancy pies and even in bread.

What culinary artists deeply desire to use when they have a sweet tooth is the nectar that is contained at the bottom of the stem of the blossom. This nectar is naturally sweet and is prized in culinary finery. The nectar produced in each blossom varies, but is usually equal to 10 drops. The nectar is only accessible by plucking the blossom from the vine cleanly, then snapping off the bottom tip of the blossom with one's fingernail and pulling down and out the carpel of the blossom. As the larger end of the carpel is moved down the narrowing blossom's stem it pulls the sweet nectar out with it. Cooks usually pull out the carpel and then squeeze the nectar from the blossom using their fingers. A weary and thirst ridden traveler may also pluck a few to drink the nectar until a water supply can be found.
Return to the top

Reproduction. If allowed to grow unattended this vine will become wild and begin to overtake the surrounding area. Since it needs something to grow upright it can easily strangle smaller plants and trees. The blossoms contain both male and female parts and can pollinate themselves anytime the blossoms are open. Even if the winter and frosts kills off the Sweetsip, it will return in the early spring and thrive until the first frost has killed it.
Return to the top

Origins. This plant was native to the continent Nybelmar, until about 1120 a.S. when a traveling human merchant from Varcopas named Sorth Greenhue cut a piece of the vine and kept the stalk wrapped in a moist cloth so that he could transport it back to Sarvonia. He traveled back to Sarvonia keeping the cloth wrapped around the stem of the vine moist with water and plucking the blossoms away as they naturally died. He thought to replant the vine back in Santharia, allow it to multiply some and then sell off parts of the vine to women who would find the aroma of the Asén'bejón most pleasing.

The vine, once replanted, quickly began to multiply and overtook the merchants small garden in his second manor in Ravenport (he feared that the climate in Varcopas wouldn't support the plant). So the merchant began pruning the vine and discarding the excess in the woods near his home in Ravenport. Greenhue sold pieces of the vine to his customers and through man, animals, and nature the Sweetsip can now be found throughout Sarvonia where conditions allow. Sorth Greenhue became very wealthy and well known. His ascendant's were the first to begin to process the Sweetsip to extract the oil from it. Over the many years the process has finally become refined and the quality has no equal. The ascendants have since expanded and now the quality oil, and even the plants which are said to produce more nectar than in the wild, can be found all over Southern Sarvonia.
Return to the top

Information provided by Lady Cherri View Profile