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Tetsame Forest Botany by Wrathofautumn Tetsame Forest Botany by Wrathofautumn
Here we see one of the forests in the Northern Hemisphere of Tetsame during the middle of spring. You'd think that the northern hemisphere with the extreme conditions it goes through couldn't possibly be capable of supporting life...but the soil is in fact very fertile and damp, perfect conditions for floral and animal life to spawn freely in this strange land.

The heart of all this is the Radish Tree, a local tree found nowhere else in the Ten Empires. Tetsame is a harsh world, with an eccentric orbit, leading to hotter summers and colder winters. As such, the animals and plants here have all adapted to a life style of energy storage, leading to low metabolisms and poor stamina.

The Radish Tree is no different. These trees are the reason that precipitation is mainly possible in the northern hemisphere, scientists now believe. Their species and subspecies found in the arid valleys between the mountain ranges.

It starts off as an unimpressive one foot shoot six inches across, digging a long root deep beneath the soil in search of aquifers. It will then store water into its hollow cache for surviving the winter and summer. It is covered with a waxy, poisonous coating to deter predators from eating it, and an inner layer of unique fibers that make an excellent insulator.
Once it's old enough though, It'll utilize it's polyps as rain catchers during the spring and autumn to further sustain it.

Every year the Radish Tree gets a new ring of bark around it, expanding the size of the water cache also. They grow wider than taller, and can live for a very long time. The largest known specimen was recorded at 500 years, 30 feet tall and 169' 10" across(the water cache was about 80 feet in diameter).

When Radish Trees die, any excess water they hold returns back into the soil, leaving hollowed shells behind. Local animals in the northern hemisphere utilize these shells to make homes for hibernation during the winter and summer and protection from predators.

No one is certain how Radish Trees first appeared. The conditions of Tetsame would've originally made it nigh impossible. But there's a theory now that somewhere a long time ago, a cosmic object collided with the planet with such force that it changed Tetsame's orbit forever and forcing up mountains and basin around where it hit, burning whatever it collided with. But the Radish Tree survived and adapted to the strange new equilibrium of its environment.

Others

Growing around the Radish Trees are patches of Sandgrass and Fairy Crowns. Sandgrass is a special type of grass with an actual brain. The real plant's brain and "organs are located all in a root buried a few feet underground. Sandgrass can be active all year round, except during the winter. The leaves retract during cold seasons and regenerate quickly, making it little concern when eaten by herbivores. They feed mainly off sunlight and little water, unable to compete with the greedy Radish Trees.

Certain subspecies of Sandgrass will even be mutually beneficial to Radish Trees, spraying pheremones on them that make insects less likely to target them, including ones specially adapted to eating Radish Tree bark. The bugs will instead turn their attention to the sandgrass, which will trap them in tiny barbs before dragging their prey beneath the ground.

Fairy Crowns are something that looks like a cross between a type of thistle and morning glories. They bloom only during the spring, growing rapidly, blossoming into their beautiful navy blue petals with tall, spiny lavender centers, before they shoot off their seeds in the same fashion as a dandelion. They spread quickly, and most Tetsame Forests are full of these beautiful flowers. Occasionally, a rare ivory Fairy Crown can be spotted. To find one of these in local folklore on Tetsame brings good luck.

However, this forest may have a problem on its hands. Teethed Poppies, a special kind of flower that shoots off alkaloids from its pollen, have begun to settle on the forest floors. They are easily spotted by their bushed appearance, dicot leaves, and yellow petals centered with burgundy with a spiky like scarlet petal hanging over the top.

Teethed Poppies were originally found only on the southern hemisphere, and cultivated by farmers for their ability to keep local insects from destroying their crops as an alternative to pesticides.

Teethed Poppies, however, spread their seeds using other animals that brush against them or pollinate them, and now they are spreading like wildfire all over the northern hemisphere. The trouble with Teethed Poppies is that they are active during the spring, summer and autumn, much like the Sandgrass, require little water but lots of sunlight, and grow very quickly. Their natural repellants prevents anything from feeding on whatever they're around, including the local plants, killing off fields off the carnivours subspecies of Sandgrass. The effect of the poisons are dangerous to Fairy Crowns, causing them to wither and die within days of contact. Radish Trees, of course, are not affected at all.

Still, however, Teethed Poppies have become a nuisance, and environmentalists have made a point to make sure these things are kept in control.

...and that's it! :D C&C well appreciated!
:iconkuroinusama69:
KuroInuSama69 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like the attention to detail you have when coming up with things like this
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:iconwrathofautumn:
Wrathofautumn Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009
Yeah, me too.

Glad to know there are people who even give a crap.
Reply
:iconkuroinusama69:
KuroInuSama69 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey I am a writer. I know how much work a person can put into their text. Thing that separates us, is that you can draw and I can't lol
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December 31, 2008
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