Enervated Ivy

Hederasomnum

Hederasomnum, known by the name of enervated ivy, is ostensibly one of the most dangerous plant species in the Tolupato region. While it cannot be used to create any lethal poisons, its unique ability to place organisms into a comatose state, so long as the pollen remains in their system, makes enervated ivy a difficult plant to manage.
 
It also is known for its symbiotic relationship with several species of fungi, the pollen serving to paralyze and, eventually, kill nearby animals for the fungi to consume. In return, these unique strands of fungi, which are found nowhere else in the world, supply the enervated ivy with a supply of several certain chemical nutrients. These nutrients are primarily used by the ivy to increase the potency of the pollen, resulting in an exponential growth of effectiveness. With the inclusion of the symbiotic relationship, Hederasomnum has the potential to overpower any attempt to contain or control its growth.
 
-- Lalau Agoseru; Plantae of the Tolupato Region
 
Enerviated ivy is an invasive species of vine. Predominantly found within the Tolupato region, it's been heavily quarantined to prevent rapid growth since it produces and releases concentrated quantities of pollen with the capacity to place organisms into a deep slumber.
Beware the enervated ivy,
The pollen drowns even the mighty.
— Common Tolupato Phrase
 

The Vineyard of Nightmares

  The Vineyard of Nightmares is a notorious forest originating from a castle overgrown by enervated ivy. It's renowned for its haunting beauty and infamously deadly air. Home to many of the most dangerous species on the planet, the enervated ivy gives sanctity to any species evolved to be immune to the ivy's effects. The ivy's growth has since been contained, however, all attempts to remove the ivy from the castle—even via the use of Resonance—have released a large quantity of pollen, resulting in failure. Since the most recent attempt, the enervated ivy has increased drastically, painting the grey stone with emerald ivy.

Classification

 
Scientific Name
Hederasomnum
Domain
Eykaryota
Kingdom
Plantae
Phylum
Anthophyta
Class
Magnoliopsida
Order
Apiales
Family
Araliaceae
Genus
Hedera
Species
somnum

Biology

Anatomy

 

Flowers

  Enervated ivy is often considered to have one of the most beautifully intoxicating flowers, disguising the deadly pollens it releases. The pollen of the flower is a polymer-based, highly potent drug with the capacity to induce comas in various organisms. Should an organism remain in the proximity of the flowers, it's possible that the afflicted organism will never wake and eventually die of dehydration or starvation.  
The flowers, known for blooming year-round irrespective of weather conditions in the tropics, release pollen periodically—generally once or twice a day—into the air from the stamen of the flower buried in the conical leaves.   The flowers themselves are loosely tucked into small bundles of leaves, capable of easily being removed with slight pressure. They are made of a light substance that rapidly grows and dissolves, constantly being replaced throughout the seasons.
Pollen
  The pollen is composed of a light chain of polymers, constructed to decrease the atomic density so that it lightly floats in the air. In heavy winds, it's not uncommon for the pollen to rapidly spread outward, the wind stripping pollen from the petals and stamen of the flowering ivy.
Enervated Ivy
by BrokenJac
 

Vines

 
The vines that constitute the primary body of enervated ivy are fairly standard, having a similar appearance to other strands of ivy found across Aesontis. Possessing the appearance of long, root-like branches, the vines of the ivy are long and twisted having warped to match whatever surface they occupy.   Younger forks of vine, generally less than 2 years old, appear spry and sap green. Conversely, older branches, between 5-10 years old, will resemble the old roots of a grand oak or evergreen tree; they possess thin layers of bark and are made of a stronger wood-adjacent substance.
The vines of enervated ivy are nothing of considerable note. Unlike the flowers and pollen which have unique properties native to the Tolupato Region, the main branches of ivy are composed of a material similar to other strains of ivy found around Aesontis.
 
-- Lalau Agoseru; Plantae of the Tolupato Region
 

Life-Cycle

 

Reproduction

 
Producing new strands of ivy is difficult. To find a balance between airflow and containment is crucial as an imbalance may result in a dangerous density of pollen in the contained garden; on the other hand, if there's too much airflow the enervated ivy will escape the containment and begin to populate the surrounding land.
— Illegal Enervated Ivy Farmer
Pollen of Enervated Ivy
Unique to enervated ivy, the polymer chain of the pollen doesn't require fertilization to grow. Since the pollen doesn't require any fertilization to reproduce, other factors of the environment play a larger role in the procreation of enervated ivy.
  As a flowering plant species, enervated ivy reproduces via their flowers. Releasing excessive volumes of pollen into the air, rather than relying on other species for reproduction, the pollen's atomic structure allows it to float in the air until finding a location to seed itself.   Only a portion of pollen will find itself planted in soil, a significant quantity of pollen landing on, and growing from, the branches of other plants of ivy.
  For a new sapling to begin growing, a number of factors have to align. Firstly, the pollen must land on open land; more often than not, the pollen will never reach soil as it will get entangled in other plants or non-organic surfances. Secondly, of the pollen that successfully lands on soil, only around 20% of pollen chains will be long enough to gather enough nutrients from the soil to begin growing, presuming the soil is fertile enough to nourish the pollen. As a result, even with sqaths of pollen released on the daily, the density of enervated ivy growth rapidly declines over increased distance as the pollen is divided into such small quantities that it is unable to produce a new plant.  

Growth Stages

 
Enervated Ivy is a slow-growing plant, often taking decades to become fully grown. However, the expansion of the plant had been deemed endless as the various branching strands of ivy have not been seen to reach a definable limit. In the general application of biology when studying enervated ivy, the plant will be divided based on the division segments. When it forks into two expanding branches, the original segment is considered individual from the new branching segment. With the properties of the plant, it is difficult to identify where the ivy originates or other completely separate plants grow together when in close confines, such as the Vineyard of Nightmares.  
  Generally, it takes around 2 years for a large stretch of a single ivy plant to reach the adult stage. While the roots and immediate branches will grow to adulthood in just under a year, the extended body of the ivy vines won't begin to reach the adult stage until over 2 years after sprouting.   Ancient enervated ivy usually takes an additional 3 to 8 years to mature from adulthood. The advanced stages of development are far more potent, often experiencing an exponential period of incubation in the far reach of the branch network. Some veins of ivy can take centuries for maturation to reach the furthest branches of the vinery.
3 Stages of Growth
 
Seedling
The youngest form of ivy, producing no flowers or pollen; it appears no different than any other species of ivy
Adult
The most common form of enervated ivy, producing an average quantity of pollen; the adult stage is the primary form, providing the most flowers and pollen
Ancient
The eldest form of ivy, possessing larger flowers and generating more pollen, usually only releasing their pollen 4 times a year
 
It's almost impossible to identify the origin of any single ivy. A single sprout easily develops into an expansive collection of branches, all in different stages of growth. The adult stages release a constant flow of pollen, saturating the air throughout the year. The ancient branches of enervated ivy are even more potent, releasing large quantities of pollen with an increase in efficiency.
 
The Vineyard of Nightmares is constructed from a number of individually growing ivy systems. Without getting near to the location, it's impossible to identify all of the individual plants. What can be determined is that there are a number of ancient ivy stems, releasing pollen at the beginning of each tropic season. During these seasons, the pollen travels in the air further than normal; in the surrounding towns, the pollen can infect water sources and fill the air. While not proving lethal, the ancient vines' release of pollen is, decidedly, stronger than that of the pollen released by adult ivy vines.
 
-- Lalau Agoseru; Plantae of the Tolupato Region
 

Ecology

Habitat

 
Illegal dealers have collected strands around the world, preparing pollen and flowers for distribution among underground drug enterprises. The locations from which the deals work are always carefully isolated, every single flowering having the potential to bring a new wave of epidemic invasion or major repercussions if discovered. While the production chain is capable of utilizing the rapid growth and adaptable habitat to their advantage, enervated ivy's pollen production has to be carefully monitored and manipulated, artificially altering the nutrients the vine receives to increase or decrease the density of pollen.
Native to the tropics of Tolupato, few strands of enervated ivy have ever left the isolated isle. The ivy primarily grows in the tropics. It needs a minimal supply of freshwater to sustain itself, though growth does consumer a larger quantity of water. The warmer climate has allowed for it to adapat to all kinds of weather it may face, from a hurricane to blistering heat, while still blossoming year-round. Enervated ivy requires a constant supply of nutrients; after it begins to grow, it can easily acquire additional nutrients by burrowing its way into the soil. Rather ambiolvent as to the surrounding landscape, enervated ivy can grow almost anywhere that it can gather enough nutrients to sprout. As a result, enervated ivy, while local to the tropics, doesn't have any particular habitat needs.
 

Species Relationships

 
Mutualism
  The mutualistic relationship developed between enervated ivy and fungi is individual to the enervated species of ivy. Developed from the fungi's consumption of organic material and enervated ivy's ability to utilize additional nutrients—which have been deemed irrelevant to the fungi—to enhance the potency and production of the pollen. In this relationship, neither species is placed at a deficit; all benefits are provided by excess materials produced by the species.  
  Oftentimes, the procreation of these fungal species is similar to that of the enervated ivy. The species' reproduction is reliant upon the existence of enervated ivy. Since the ivy's spread is usually by air and travels long distances, there are a range of species including rapidly evolving fungi—which are believed to adapt to the enervated ivy's needs wherever it goes.   Several strands, most predominantly found in the Vineyard of Nightmares, are believed to have gradually adapted like many of the animal species. Due to the variance, these fungi species are incapable of pursuing enervated ivy over long distances, forced to remain within close proximity to the Vineyard of Nightmares.
Commensalism
 
Steer clear of the Vineyard of Nightmares. There are creatures there that tear man limb from limb with poisons strong enough to kill an army.
— Common Warning to Children
  Developed during the centuries wherein enervated ivy occupied the Vineyard of Nightmares, a number of species acquiring an immunity to the effects of the pollen. While not giving any benefit to the ivy itself, the unique strands of species possess a commensalism relationship. The ivy offers the animals protection, allowing them to prosper away from human reach.   Many of these species have also had the opportunity to further evolve and adapt to the situation, developing venoms and toxins similar to those produced by the enervated ivy. Due to this side-effect of the minor evolutions, the individual strands of species found in the Vineyard of Nightmares are listed among many of the most lethal animals on the planet.
 

Uses & Products

 
If properly managed and harvested, the pollen and petals from enervated ivy can be be crafted into several drugs, both medicinal and recreational. Though the effectiveness and influence of the drug can vary based on the production process, the pollens and petals provide powerful effects—primarily hallucinogenic in nature—and minimal dangerous side-effects.
While enervated ivy was once a crucial cultural aspect in the Tolupato Nations, the eventual ban placed upon harvesting the ivy pollen lead to a decline in the production of legal substances and a rise in illegal drug production around Tolupato.
 
Enervayed ivy may be the source of a number of drugs, but it's dangerous. If you can't properly managed the growth and pollen, the enervated ivy could wipe out the operation in a single day. It's taken decades to construct even a few small manufacturing plants with any slightest success.
PhantomV Dealer
 

Sedatives

  The sleep-inducing pollen can be condensed into a pill form, known for being one of the most effective, natural sedatives. However, due to the rampant growth enervated ivy was outlawed for production of drugs. Some smaller cities in the Tolupato Nations have historically produced drugs to induce sleep, however, all relating enterprises eventually failed when the enervated ivy had to be removed to prevent the creation of second Vineyard of Nightmares.   Illegal drugs distilled from the pollen of enervated ivy are also popular among the criminal underworld. Inhalents, generally turned into a liquid substance, are commonly used to sedate captives. If properly synthesized, a pollen-based sedative can be formed to induce near-instantaneous sleep.

PhantomV

  The other form of drug manufactured from enervated ivy, illegalized world-wide, is a drug called Phentisae Vernosa, better known by its streetname PhantomV. Produced through the process of enhancing the potency of the pollen and incorporating the extracted chemicals with stimulants, it induces a unique and highly addictive halucinogen.   PhantomV has permiated the criminal underworld, resulting in a near-epidemic level addiction ensaring impoverished towns across Aesontis. As a result, a number of nations have attempted, with very little success, to erradicate the production of PhantomV. Despite all attempts, PhantomV and other enervated ivy drugs constitute the majority of the underground drug industry.

Comments

Author's Notes

This article was written for the Peculiar Plants World Anvil Challenge of March 2021. This article was a doozy to write. There were a lot of ideas that I had that didn't make the cut, but I like the final concept. The writing and design may not be the best I've ever written, so I'm open to suggestions on how to improve. It's been a while since I've had the time to dedicate to writing a full article like this. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and, if you liked it, consider leaving a like for the Peculiar Plants challenge shortlist!  

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Please Login in order to comment!
11 Mar, 2021 22:06

This article really has a scientific feel to it and is quite detailed. It seems you really put some thought into it! My remarks would only be with the layout. I think the background and main text combination is not the easiest to read. Also the quotes with the same background as the main seem a bit strange. Otherwise it's a well done breaking of the text.

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
12 Mar, 2021 00:52

Really interesting species. The symbiosis with the fungi is nice touch. Small nitpick, but pollen is produced in flowers by the stamen, the stigma is the female part of the flower, which pollen lands on.

12 Mar, 2021 00:57

Ooh. Thanks for that catch. It's been a while since I've been in a biology class that focused on microbiology in flowers.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
12 Mar, 2021 01:21

Ooo first off, I love the idea that a plant could get so out of control in growth that it cant be brought back under control. That's a nice little opening there and it really shows just how dangerous it can be. Oooof and later in vineyard if nightmares, even trying to contain such large areas could release and spread pollen. This is a well evolved plant.     Idk if it be a typo but this "Enervated ivy often considered..." I think you left out an "is"   The descriptio. If the plant and all its features is quite nice. Well written and I can picture it clearly. Very nice. I also like the added images and quotes. I think its intriguing how it doesnt require fertilization to produce the pollen. That's a nice little detail and makes it kinda scary.   Oooo now this is my favorite bit, the drugs the plant produces. I like how it's more than just sedatives but also illegal drugs which opens up the Avenue for some crazy professions. I mean... I hope they have health insurance, lol.     Well done good sir, and a fine addition to your world. I would hate to actually come across it though. I think the most interesting thing is how believable it is I could see this being a thing. There are plants that have to watched for out there and some are actively eliminated too. Well done.

12 Mar, 2021 01:49

Ooh! Thanks so much for the comment and kind words. I'm glad it has a semi-eerie, dangerous feeling to it. And yes. It is one heck of a well-evolved plant. Without modern gas masks, boy would it be difficult to deal with. Even with the ability to control the air, what are you supposed to do when you release such a large quantity of pollen that can float for miles on a light breeze? You either let it take a contained area or risk pouring so much pollen into the air that the entire world gets coated.   Yeah. That was just a bit of a typo. Whoops.   I'm glad you enjoy all of the more specific details of the species. It's always fun to include to bring everything alive. Thanks for taking the time to read and like it! I really appreciate it.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Journeyman Monkos
Andrew Booth
13 Mar, 2021 07:30

Oooo I love this. Very detailed which makes my science brain happy, and nicely tied into a purpose within the world, which makes my writing brain happy. And despite the fact that it's quite long, nice and easy to read!

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
17 Mar, 2021 07:01

Very interesting and scary plant Jacob! I like how it can't be fully eradicated, and that you included the illegal drugs made from it.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
17 Mar, 2021 19:29

Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to look through it. Hit me up if you get an article out for the challenge!

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
17 Mar, 2021 14:33

Gosh the detail of this article is mind blowing! That Vineyard of Nightmares sounds like a, well, nightmare. Joke aside I love the visual of the overgrown and poisonous castle. The sections on uses is also very interesting to read, nice work!!

Author of Interarcanum.
17 Mar, 2021 19:25

Aww. Thank you so much! The kind words are really appreciated.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
23 Mar, 2021 01:03

I think you've done a really great job with the detail in this article! I really like the symbiotic relationship the ivy has with fungi, in particular. :D I also like that most of the interest is in the flower/pollen, and the actual vine of the ivy is similar to other species of ivy in your world. The pollen scares me a little. o.o

23 Mar, 2021 01:37

Thanks for checking it out! I really appreciate it :) I'll be checking your article out the first opportunity I get!

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
27 Mar, 2021 07:45

Very thorough! Good work!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
13 Apr, 2021 07:32

Very interesting article and great plant! The Vineyard of Nightmare is a really nice take on sleeping beauty's castle :D I like the relationship with the fungi It's horrifying that the nearby towns also get regularly exposed to the pollen. Is there a reason why the ivy hasn't propagated to those towns yet?   A few notes I took while reading:   "even via the use of Resonance" you could add a tooltip here to explain what it is.   I found the pollen being single chain polymer slightly weird because that would mean it contains all the DNA in just one chain + replication materials and energy to replicate for once it goes on the ground…That must really be an enormous chain… Is it linear? I got the idea it was so as to be more volatile, but maybe you could say it's mostly planar so as to be lifted by the air flow? With the DNA itself forming the plain and the replication complexes and energy on top and moving along the plain to reach the right genes.   Oh, and I forgot that the pollen must also have some chemicals to induce the sleeping effect in people. "and incorporating the extracted chemicals with stimulants" that means that those chemicals must be present in high enough quantity too.   I imagine that one of the reasons the content of the soil is so important is the fact that the content of the pollen is so minimal. If anything it needs is missing from the it can't do anything but die.   "As a result, enervated ivy, while local to the tropics, doesn't have any particular habitat needs." Can it also stand ice? I don't imagine that's something it encounters very often in the tropics :D   Talking about a strand of an animal species sounds strange… I know we talk about strand of bacteria, not sure about fungi, but for animal you wouldn't. You can say races if it's genetically distinct groups of animals but that can still reproduce together within the wider species group.   Anyway, I really like the idea and your attempt to explain the volatility of the pollen and the rapid propagation of the ivy. And that horrible castle :D And nice layout of the article and illustration of the flower too!

14 Apr, 2021 02:22

Wow! Thanks for the comment; I'm sorry to say I don't really have the time to address the errors in the article nor give you a proper thank you by looking deeper into your article at this point, but your feedback is extremely appreciated.   The propagation of the plant requires a few specific things to happen and, since the Vineyard of Nightmares is heavily quarantines, the amounts of pollen released are in a quantity wherein they are able to impact the population but are unable to properly begin reproducing.   Whoops. I should have actually just linked the Resonance article so that automatic tooltip, at the very least, hinted at the subject. I'll see about getting that updated.   That's a bit of a tough one to answer. Luckily, I neglected to use strong wording so I can find ways to rationalize my lack of knowledge on the specific evolutionary processes. If I had to wager a guess as to the best solution, I'd say the low atomic density is a result of increased distance in the DNA, which is the primary base of the polymer chain. Conversely, the energy needs are met by the environment and reproduction function is based upon the specialization of the cells upon immediate collection of energy, allowing for exponential growth in the initial stages. No idea if that makes sense or conflicts with anything since I've not looked into the deep specifics of microbiology nor any lore conflicts.   I'd probably assume the few specialized cells mentioned above that are required for the reproduction of the plant would be the main producer of the effect, only located on the pollen and young seedling for the first day or so. While it would be in a relatively low concentration per pollen polymer, the number of pollen polymers would lead to a high enough concentration for extraction to be possible. Again, no idea if that helps.   Indeed; also because it has such a high reproduction and growth rate, so the contents of the soil are really important. I probably included something in the article somewhere?   Technically, yes. While this makes virtually no sense scientifically, so long as the plant can still gather the nutrients from the soil it would be able to last the winter. There would be an increased reliance upon the soil making it even more difficult for propagation, hence the reason it's mostly found in the tropics. That line was originally included because the Vineyard of Nightmares was originally in the mountains not on the shore.   You know. That does make sense, now that you mention it. Strand just sounded correct. I probably should use species variants for animals since it suggests greater special differences than the minor variations in strands of bacteria.   Thanks, I appreciate the praise! Your article, since I won't get a comment there in a reasonable amount of time, was also really well designed and formatted. Well deserving of the astonishing 85+ likes.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
15 Apr, 2021 19:09

No problem, thanks for reading my article :D

13 Apr, 2021 19:51

Neat and scary! And while I perfectly understand using it for drugs, my first thought was using it for biological warfare: Secretly cultivate in enemy lands, then during a windy period, feed them enough to go crazy with the spores and watch entire cities go down.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
14 Apr, 2021 02:01

Thanks, for both the comment, praise, and reading! I didn't really think about biological warfare, however, it'd only ever be used by what would boil down to high-risk/suicide bombers that were members of criminal organizations as it's been banned worldwide. But that would be terrifying; especially if someone managed to instead transfer the pollen to explosive devices all released in a single city simultaneous.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
14 Apr, 2021 08:18

Oh my, if the pollen remains active instead of going inert, that'd definitely work...

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
16 Apr, 2021 22:23

Hey Jacob!   You've done a wonderful job laying out and describing your plant. You have an amazing sense for how to vary your layout, and I like your colour palette. I'm a big fan of your inclusion of various scientific bits throughout such as taxonomy and knowing that polymer chains can be lightweight. I don't really have any suggestions for 'improvements' other than I like more images but that's a really subjective matter. Great work!

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