THE YROM SHRUB ("HEATHER")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - REPRODUCTION - MYTH/LORE

The Yrom is a family of altitude loving evergreen shrubs of Sarvonia, carrying small flowers. It is found from the very tip of Northern Sarvonia to the southern Mithral Mountains. Yrom is the Styrįsh term for the plant (Yrom), which is also in common use by other races. The Tharian word for the same plant is Heather, though it is only in use in the Northern Sarvonia provinces of Vardżnn and Nermeran. Yrom is commonplace on the Steppelands of Southern Sarvonia and is an important plant of highland regions, but it is also found on the lowland moors of Northern Sarvonia. Deer and many smaller animals depend on Yrom for food and cover.

The Yrom (Heather)
Image description. The altitude loving Yrom plant, often also referred to as "Heather". Picture drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. The name Yrom actually covers several distinct sub species of very similar plants. They are woody stemed plants producing a plethora of bendy branches whose upper half are covered in leaves. All Yroms have slightly fleshy linear leaves no more than a hairs breath in width, arranged into closely overlapping clusters, giving the branches a feathery appearance. These leaves are usually dark green through to purple. The size of the Yrom is however very variable, Steppeland Yroms grow tall to 1.50 peds in height, with a spread of one ped, while highland Yroms grow close to the ground (no taller than 0.2 peds but with a spread of more than 2 peds. The Yroms flower at different times according to their enviroment, but in all cases occur when rainfall and sunlight are at their maximum values. Flowers are typically small and bell shaped, and usually white, purple, shades of blues or silver, but reds, crimsons and golds are also sometimes seen. Flowers are produced on specialised vertical stalks and open during the day, closing at night. Return to the top

Territory. Yroms are unique to the Sarvonian continent. They thrive in poor soil and can tolerate incredible extremes of climate, growing in both waterlogged soil and sandy dry soils. Yroms can withstand harsh winds and extremely cold temperatures, and as a result are very altitude tolerant. They are therefore found in most heath, moor and highland areas of the continent as well as populating poor soils around coastal and bog areas. Yroms are intolerant of high temperatures, and quickly die if their leaves become scortched by hot direct sunlight. They may also grow in dense forests, espescially in hotter climates where they are shaded by think canopies from full sun.
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Usages. Yrom is one of those very useful plants. The flexible, strong branches are an important source of nutrition to many animals. Man, too, has made good use of heather through the ages using it for thatching, ropes, bedding and has even made ale from it! Yrom twigs as brooms, or from its medicinal properties for treatment of a number of internal disorders. Chewing a Yrom twig is beneficial in the treatment of stomach upsets and indigestion. Yrom honey produced from bees kept in highland regions where ground cover is almost exclusively Yrom, is a very light and very sweet honey and is extremly popular in both Voldar and Milkengrad.
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Reproduction. Flowers are produced with both male and female organs, which are both active all through the life of the flower. Cross-pollination is by bees and small flies, although Yrom depend primarily on self-fertilization induced by the closing of the flowers in the afternoon. Seeds are produced in pods after the flower petals decay. Seed dispersal is limited, seedlings have been observed at a maximum distance of only a few peds from fruiting plants. Yrom begin flowering only after three years of growth and roots vegetatively at the edges once they form well-rounded clumps.
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Myth/Lore. There are several very similar myths told by many of the Northern Sarvonian tribes that the Yrom root could be brewed into a magic mead that endowed the drinker with enhanced strength and eysight.
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