Chromebark

The dense growth of Chromebark trees have overrun these tidal brine pools and turned them into shallow mangals. The metallic lustre of the canopy shimmers with every colour of the rainbow, as the chromium salt laced foliage catches what light shines through the overcast skies.
  Chromebark trees are the dominant species of tree that have colonised the edges of the mineral rich Turquoise Pools and have developed the area into a dense mangrove swamp, or mangal.   The term "Chromebark" refers to several very similar mutated subspecies of the now extinct steelbark trees native to Aaltiera. Chromebark trees have adapted to take advantage of the chromium salts that are abundant in the saline turquoise waters. These salts, when combined with ferrous minerals from the rust red silty loams, forms a natural form of stainless steel, which the chromebark trees incorporate into their structure. Excess metal salts accumate within the leaves, giving them a shimmering, multi-hued metalic lustre.  
Wind whispers through the canopy causing the leaves to rustle like tin foil. One or two are shaken loose, where they glide into the turquoise waters like rainbow hued metal ribbons.

Basic Information

Anatomy


There are two main species of Chromebark, which can be distinguished by their root structures.   Lagoon Chromebarks typically grow in deeper pools of metallic brine, and grow on wide cones of thin, spindly roots. The natural stainless steel imparts considerable compressive strength, and these trees can develop wide, heavy boughs with ease. Often only one or two of these trees dominate an entire tidal pool.   Littoral Chromebarks typically inhabit the shallow edges of the tidal pools. Their thick, web-like root structure constricts water flow and attracts silty deposits whenever the tide comes in. These trees tend to grow taller than their deeper water cousins as they fight for scarse scraps of natural light.

Genetics and Reproduction


Chromebarks reproduce in a similar way to coconut palms, except that the buoyant husks are composed of what is effectively steel wool.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Rows of severed sprigs lie beside the low huts, coppiced from the nearby mangal grove. The metallic wood still burns well enough, leaving behind chrome steel strands among the piles of ash.
  Communities within the Mangal make extensive use of the Chromebark trees native to the region. Old wood is too tough to hack and hew, but young growth can be coppiced. These cuttings are pliable enough to be loosely weaved together into wattle and used as a building material.   Cuttings can be burned as a source of fuel, leaving behind strands of natural stainless steel. These strands can be woven together and forged into a single object.   Chromebark nuts, while tough to crack, are an efficient source of food with a long shelf life. The nuts' steel wool husks are a good thatch material. A thick, well made pair of gloves is recommended when handling chromebark nuts.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms


Numerous species of both flora and fauna live on, in, or around chromebarks.   These include a number of arboreal vines, and the parasitic ferrous termite.

Chromebark.png
Lagoon Chromebark by Dutrius
Scientific Name
Ferroderma Chroma
Geographic Distribution

Cover image: by Dutrius

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Apr, 2021 10:36

This is a great article! I love all the biology explanation around the trees and their environment.   A few notes I took while reading:   I'm not sure about the font colour in the quote, it's a bit hard to read though still doable.   "native to Aaltiera, chromebark trees have adapted" I think you meant to start a new sentence at "native".   I like your explanation of why the tree have metal in them. They must be very pretty, shimmering like that.   "There are two main species pf Chromebark" you have a typo at "of"   " these trees can develop wide, heaby boughs" did you mean "heavy" here?   Those trees sound like a great way to mine the metal, and it must make more solid house than plain wood. On the other hand, the metal in the tree must also cool or warm the tree very quickly when temperature changes, and that would be damaging to normal plants. Have you thought about how your trees deal with that?   Do the nuts have metal inside of them or is it just in the shell? A bit of metal can be good since our body needs it as micronutrients, but it becomes very toxic very quickly. Or did the body of the people feeding on that also develop some way to deal with that, just as some people developed lactose tolerance?

3 Apr, 2021 11:10

Thank you for the feedback, and good catch on the typos! I wrote most of this on mobile, and I tend to make more mistakes on my phone keyboard.   For the quote colour, I do agree. I'm currently using the default colour for this theme, and I haven't had the chance to muck about with the CSS yet.   I imagined the nuts to basically just be coconuts, but the husk is metallic. The insides are metal free.   I hadn't thought about heating effects, that may be something to add later.

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
4 Apr, 2021 15:27

I like the new quotes! They really help establish the ambiance :D

4 Apr, 2021 15:39

Thank you!

3 Apr, 2021 18:31

Nice article! I like the general look of the tree and how it came to be like that. Also fun that it can actually be used to get metal. I wonder though if the husks of the food can be used to get steel wool does the outside actually damage tissue like normal steel wool would?   I have to agree with Amélie that the quote is indeed a bit difficult to read css wise. In all great read!

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
4 Apr, 2021 15:41

A good pair of gloves is probably a good idea when handling steel wool coconuts.

Sage samsaratg
George Sanders
6 Apr, 2021 23:34

I like article and everyone already has lots of good feedback already for you. I have 2 ideas for you: What do you think about an extra paragraph or space at the end of each section - like between "chromebark nuts." and the title "Symbiotic and Parasitic Organisms"? Another idea, and this is actually something I want to do on my pages - the footer sections give you a full width box - would the "basic information" and additional information" sections benefit from that?

Lavani started a trend with Fashion from a Fey during the Costume Challenge.   Now there are books being written about her. Walk with Lavani, see the lore and book come together by supporting me on Patreon.
7 Apr, 2021 03:21

Thank you for the feedback!

7 Apr, 2021 12:02

This is a really interesting plant!! I love your use of quotes, they really help to pull me in as I read the article. Wish I could see some, they sound visually fascinating.

Author of Interarcanum.
7 Apr, 2021 18:50

Thank you! I do intend to whip up some artwork if I have the time.

9 Apr, 2021 22:18

I love this - what a unique idea for a tree! I like the idea of their seed husks kind of being like steel wool! :D

9 Apr, 2021 22:58

Thank you!

13 Apr, 2021 21:09

Neat look, and nice logical usage!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
13 Apr, 2021 21:30

Thank you!

14 Apr, 2021 19:56

Hi Dutrius! As a mechanical engineer with a background in material science, I love the inclusion of metallurgy in the structure of your tree and its corresponding usefulness. As a creator, I think your article is compiled well and your picture is beautifully done. Excellent work!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
15 Apr, 2021 00:37

Thank you!