An Illustrated Guide to Elanthian Flora - Naidem
Title: An Illustrated Guide to Elanthian Flora: Naidem
Author: Alisaire Frey
An Illustrated Guide to Elanthian Flora: Naidem
The realm of Naidem, including the town of Evermore Hollow and its surrounding lands, has a variety of new and intriguing flora that grows only there and nowhere else in Elanthia. Below is a brief guide with initial research into the flora unique to Naidem - including where to find it.
There are several prominent areas of Naidem and the town of Evermore Hollow that have climates and terrains suitable for the growth of abundant flora. Any interested forager can plan to spend time in at least three of them to locate all of the unique varieties found within this realm.
Heart of Evermore Hollow
Comprised of the Inner and Outer Rings of the town and the streets that link them together, the heart of Evermore Hollow is generally too temperate or too well-trodden to allow many varieties of plants to grow. However, hidden in the occasional corner, a few species can be glimpsed, growing in the shadow of the various houses or finding purchase in an abandoned lot.
The northern neighborhoods of Evermore Hollow, such as Innocent's End, are generally too temperate for many native plants to grow. Due to some of the unique environments of Innocent's End, however, there are a few small pockets of cooler temperatures or wetter terrains that are suitable for more flora to thrive. Look to those areas that have more disturbing imagery conjured by the minds of children to find alpestris, dianthus, roses, starflowers, or the velvet martagon lily, or smaller clusters of mistblooms and old man's beard lichen, or drake claw roots and pearly green vines.
Much like Innocent's End, the quaint neighborhood of Vigil's End is similarly affected by the temperate climates of the northern half of Evermore Hollow, offering little in the way of suitable environments for native plants to thrive. There are several pockets of wildlife that have managed to find purchase along the stream running along the northwestern corner of Vigil's End, where one can find direblooms, scorpidium mosses, drake claw roots, and the occasional skeletal lace mushroom or yellow scale lichen.
Contrasting against the northern neighborhoods, the frigid grounds of Winterbriar Orchard are far too cold to allow nearly all of the native plants to grow. Much of the neighborhood itself has weather fit for a glacier, while even in the shadowed thicket along its southern end, the snow piles high, much as it does in the arctic.
The unique topography of the Fate's Holding neighborhood lends itself to having several distinct microclimates as one slowly ascents the central barrow as if climbing a series of low terraces along a mountain slope. As such, the variety of plants varies from section to section of the Holding, depending on how dry or wet the chill air is, or how cultivated the hilly terrain has been worked.
Some of the clusters at lower elevations host plentiful flowers - alpestris, dianthus, direbloom, dreamphlox, roses, starflowers, and the martagon lily - amid clusters of amaranth, old man's beard lichen, scorpidium mosses, and the occasional skeletal lace mushroom. Other clusters midway up the barrow are more sparsely vegetated, with only direblooms flourishing amid yellow scale lichen, scorpidium mosses, skeletal lace mushrooms, and pearly green vines. However, at the barrow's apex, where the residents have so carefully tended the land, a wealth of flora can be found by the intrepid forager - nearly all those found below, plus some rarer plants, among them mistblooms, drake claw roots, resurrection ferns, black vampire lilies, and the Mularosian whip vine. Likely it is the influence of the barrow itself that allows the ferns and vampire lilies to flourish only here and in the Evermore Hollow graveyard.
Tucked close to the mushroom-filled Bittermere Woods, Moorlyn shares much of Bittermere's environment, with is chilly yet damp weather casting a fog over its wetlands. Flowers, mushrooms, and moss alike grow in abundance here, and a wide variety can be found throughout nearly the entire neighborhood. Of flowers, there are direblooms, dreamphlox, mistblooms, and starflowers, now and then interspersed with pearly green and turquoise vines. Both old man's beard and yellow scale lichen grow amid scorpidium and pincushion mosses. And of the mushrooms, the entire variety found in Naidem can be glimpsed within Moorlyn's marshes.
Gleyminn Anni River
Encircling the town of Evermore Hollow, the Gleyminn Anni River is truly an experience, its riparian environment suitable for a variety of organisms. However, the truly unique flora of Naidem does not grow abundantly along its banks, and foragers are encouraged to look elsewhere.
Along the western side of Evermore Hollow, the Graveyard Temporalis is a hauntingly beautiful sight, with aged trees offering shade to the well-kept and well-forgotten grounds. Heavy mists make it difficult to find plants at times, however an exceptionally wide variety can be found within its gated confines. Among the flowers are alpestris, dianthus, direbloom, dreamphlox, lilies, mistblooms, roses, and starflowers. Additional plants that can be found include amaranth, resurrection ferns, old man's beard lichen, scorpidium mosses, skeletal lace mushrooms, drake claw roots, and the Mularosian whip vine. The Graveyard Temporalis is the best location to find the rare black vampire lily and Mularosian whip vine.
Ember Ridge Orchard
Many fruit and nut trees are present within the northern orchard, their bounty in a perpetual state of harvest for those willing to put forth the effort. While the trees within the orchard are quite a common sight in most of Elanthia, it also provides a home to Naidem's unique alpestris and its own variety of old man's beard lichen.
East of Evermore Hollow, the mushroom-filled Bittermere Woods hosts a variety of truly unique flora and fungi, some of which can be seen growing to impressive sizes. The streams that course through the Bittermere lend it a much wetter environment than the other grounds surrounding the town, and as such it hosts flora that are typically better suited to more marshy terrains. All varieties of colorful fungi found in Naidem grow here, ranging from tangerine to pink and violet, from rainbow-striped to amber-hued, and even both varieties of skirted mushrooms - the skeletal lace mushroom and the fairy's skirt mushroom. Among the fungi bloom numerous colorful flowers, such as direbloom, dreamphlox, mistbloom, and starflowers. Also present in equal numbers are both old man's beard and yellow scale lichen, scorpidium and pincushion mosses, and pearly green and turquoise vines.
The alpestris is a type of bromeliad. As it grows, it forms rosettes of densely clustered leaves which grow outward from the central stalk into a series of lengthy spikes. These stiff leaves are further reinforced with hooked spines along the ridges and paler scales along the bottom. Flowers bloom along the central stalk, clustered between the leafy spines in a dramatic display of color.
There are two notable varieties of alpestris that grow in Naidem, both of which bear clusters of vibrantly hued blossoms.
Alpestris is most easily located in the Graveyard Temporalis or Ember Ridge Orchard, although small clusters can also be found growing in the neighborhoods of Innocent's End and Fate's Holding.
Typically an annual or short-lived perennial plant, amaranths are cultivated for their seeds, which are edible as pseudograins or used as fodder for livestock. While technically an herbaceous plant, amaranths are often classified as flowers due to their dense clusters of colorful blooms. They also share similarities with grasses and grains.
The variety of amaranth that grows in Naidem is an especially striking reddish black variant, its stalk and flowers significantly darker than the amaranth of Elanthia.
Amaranth grows abundantly in the Graveyard Temporalis, although it can also be glimpsed in some portions of Fate's Holding.
The dianthus is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant. Its leaves are slim and elongated, and the flower has five petals with a slight trailing frill along its outer edges. This outer frill can sometimes be extremely elongated, such as with both varieties found in Naidem.
There are two notable varieties of dianthus that grow in Naidem:
Dianthus can be seen growing in most corners of the Graveyard Temporalis, and it can also be glimpsed in some portions of the Innocent's End and Fate's Holding neighborhoods.
A truly unique plant, the direbloom is known only to grow in Naidem and not anywhere else on Elanthia.
There are two notable varieties of direbloom that grow in Naidem:
Direblooms grow in abundence in the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood. It also can be found in some portions of Vigil's End and Fate's Holding.
Dreamphlox grows with multiple flowers clustered together, emerging from a single slender stem. Its blossoms have five bell-shaped petals extending outward from a darker core, and its leaves are narrow ellipticals with no serration along the edges. An upright variety of phlox, it can grow in clusters to a height comparable to wild grasses. Dreamphlox only flowers at night, where its delicate blossoms open for moths and other nighttime pollinators.
There are two notable varieties of dreamphlox that grow in Naidem:
Dreamphlox can be most readily found in the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood. Small clusters also grow within Fate's Holding.
Both lilies and false lilies feature several blossom growing on long, slender stalks amid a cluster of dense, elliptical and spear-like leaves. They can vary widely in hue as well as leaf arrangement. While some lilies prefer the day, others flower only at night.
There are two notable verities of lilies that grow in Naidem:
Both varieties of lilies bloom readily within the Graveyard Temporalis. Now and there, a stray martagon lily can be glimpsed within the Innocent's End and Fate's Holding neighborhoods. Preferring hallowed sites of graves, the black vampire lily only grows within the Graveyard Temporalis or upon the barrow of Fate's Holding - and even then only at night.
Rising on a slender stalk, the mistbloom blossom appears much like a puffball of color, its many stamens overshadowing the form the petals beneath and radiating outward in a cluster of wisps.
There are two notable varieties of mistbloom that grow in Naidem:
Mistblooms can be found growing within the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood, with occasional clusters growing within Innocent's End and Fate's Holding.
A common flowering plant, roses grow typically in the form of bushes or small shrubs, though they can be trained to grow in a specific shape with a trellis. A single plant will have multiple large, showy blossoms that start as tight buds, then open and expand, often atop tall stalks featuring sharp thorns interspersed between elliptical leaves. Highly fragrant, the distilled essence is often used in perfumes, baked goods, candy, and sachets.
There are two notable varieties of roses that grow in Naidem:
Roses can be found blooming within the Graveyard Temporalis, as well as in scattered patches throughout the Innocent's End and Fate's Holding neighborhoods
A small flowering plant, the starflower's blossom is star-shaped, with five petals, and typically with several blossoms emerging from the same stem in a cluster of short stalks. Growing in groups of colorful sprigs that vary in color between core and petals, its flowers are sometimes too heavy for the stem, causing them to drape forward in pillowy waves of color. It prefers deep woods, where they can grow in abundance to form a vibrant carpet in the shadows beneath the trees. The starflower only blooms at night, except when cultivated under precise environmental controls.
There are four notable varieties of starflowers that grow in Naidem:
- a sprig of tiny auroral starflowers
- a sprig of tiny cerulean starflowers
- a sprig of tiny gold-cored ruby starflowers
- a sprig of tiny violet-tipped starflowers
Starflowers grow abundantly within the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood. Small pockets also can be seen in the neighborhoods of Innocent's End and Fate's Holding.
Lichens, Moss, and Mushrooms
The old man's beard lichen is a type of bushy or shrubby lichen that grows on a host tree bark or branches, where it trails long tassels that give it a stringy, beard-like appearance. As a lichen, it actually not a single organism, but rather fungi and algae living together in symbiosis
The yellow scale lichen is a crust-like lichen that grows on another substrate, such as stone, bark, or soil. Its scale-like appearance is a result of the lichen partially separating from its substrate, leaving portions of it exposed in irregular cracks. As a lichen, it actually not a single organism, but rather fungi and algae living together in symbiosis.
Preferring different climates, both varieties of lichens are rarely seen growing alongside one another save within Bittermere Woods. However, one or the other can be glimpsed in the grounds surrounding Evermore Hollow - Ember Ridge Orchard and the Graveyard Temporalis - as well as within most of its neighborhoods - Innocent's End, Vigil's End, Fate's Holding, and Moorlyn alike.
Growing in dense tangles, scorpidium moss often makes its home on dead or dying trees, devouring the nutrients of its doomed host.
There are two notable varieties of scorpidium moss that grow in Naidem:
Scorpidium mosses cling to the dense trees of the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood, although they can also be glimpsed in the more wooded portions of Vigil's End and Fate's Holding.
Pincushion moss grows in dense pads ranging from several inches to several feet across, either on the ground, across boulders, or clinging to trees. Its pads are slightly domed, giving them the delightful appearance of pillows or cushions. Normally a deep green, pincushion moss in Naidem is vibrantly colored in unusual shades of red and blue.
There are two notable varieties of pincushion moss that grow in Naidem:
Pincushion mosses grow abundantly in both Bittermere Woods and the Moorlyn neighborhood, where the environment is suitably swampy for their preferences.
Several varieties of vibrantly colored mushrooms grow in clusters and rings on the forest floor, or along the bark of trees. Most of them bear phosphorescent spores, which can cause the area immediately around clusters to glow with eerie light or give the mushroom itself the appearance that it is illuminated from within.
There are four notable varieties of colorful mushrooms that grow in Naidem:
- a spore-filled tangerine mushroom
- a spiral-capped pink and violet mushroom
- a spiraled rainbow-striped mushroom
- a glowing amber-hued mushroom
The colorful varieties of mushrooms only grow within the marshy confines of Bittermere Woods and the Moorlyn neighborhood, their vibrant hues lending those portions of Naidem a particularly surreal appearance.
A pitted, bell-shape cap is held aloft on a pale slender stalk, from which drapes a lacy webwork of delicate strands that trails skirt-like all the way to the ground.
There are two notable varieties of skirted mushrooms that grow in Naidem:
Capable of growing alongside the colorful mushrooms of Naidem, the skirted mushrooms can also tolerate much dryer climes, and as such they can be seen growing throughout the Graveyard Temporalis, Bittermere Woods, and the Moorlyn neighborhood. Occasional circles can be found within both Vigil's End and Fate's Holding as well.
The resurrection fern is an evergreen creeping fern with a rough texture to its leaves. It frequently grows attached to another host plant, such as a tree, either at its base or in its branches, although it can also be found growing on fallen logs or moss-covered boulders. It is capable of surviving long periods of drought.
Growing along riverbanks and shorelines, drake claw roots bear the shape of their namesake and are often bicolor, with vibrant veins winding across the root's surface in sharp contrast to the base hue.
Preferring dryer weather, drake claw roots can be found throughout the Graveyard Temporalis, as well as within the occasional corners of Innocent's End, Vigil's End, and Fate's Holding neighborhoods. The resurrection fern can only be seen growing upon areas with hallowed ground, such as within the Graveyard Temporalis or atop the barrow of Fate's Holding.
Vines and Parasitics
Bearing thorns or nubby nodules along their length, the vines of Naidem grow in dense woods, frequently using dying or dead trees as a host from which they derive their nutrients. Some are capable of swift movement, snapping out toward unsuspecting passersby.
Colorful vines grow in abundance in Bittermere Woods and the Moorlyn neighborhood, with occasional sights amid Innocent's End and Fate's Holding. However, the Mularosian whip vine only grows within the confines of the Graveyard Temporalis or atop the barrow at Fate's Holding.
A variety of new healing plants have been discovered in Naidem in 5123. They include the following:
- a tuft of heath star moss
- a clump of winterbriar moss
- a strip of white willow bark
- a sprig of downy skullcap
- a pale green gingko leaf
- a purple-irised white mullein blossom
- a yellow-cored white feverfew bloom
- a jacinthe evermore rosehip
- a stalk of pineapple sage
- a bloom of orange-yellow chamomile
- some chartreuse bittermere lichen
- a soft yellow sorrel sprig
- a tendril of saffron ginger root
- a capitulum of reddish black direbloom
- several aurora marigold blossoms
- a lanceolate jagged boneset leaf
- a woody red reishi mushroom
- a periwinkle seedhead of beebalm
- some clustered vermilion fire moss
- a leafy sprig of green chervil
- a cluster of orange milkweed flowers