"Through the world, species of trees have been discovered bearing unusual properties. Ironwood, Ash, Ossier, and many more have been found growing in odd, specific conditions. Who knows how many more are out there?"Ironwood trees are a favored species by the Sveldish people, seen as a gift from the gods. They go to battle with bags of seeds on their person, knowing that if they die their blood shall nourish the trees their people rely on.
Ironwood trees grow in a single, straight trunk with many branches splitting off, hanging downward from the weight of the thousands of spindly needles. The Ironwood is similar in appearance to your average pine tree, with a pale white, gray, or rusty sheen to the needles. It is not uncommon to confuse them for Blue Pines or dead pines. It is not uncommon to find streaks of iron running through various parts of the tree. The needles are sharp and capable of drawing blood.
Genetics and Reproduction
Ironwood trees produce long, narrow pine cones every three to seven years. They are often gray or rust colored, depending on the amount of precipitation, and are often confused for "dragon eggs" by children due to the overlapping scales. Once the seeds are ready, the scales will draw away from the core and fan out. Thin, flat seeds are dropped from the cones to be eaten by wildlife or collected by sentient life.
Growth Rate & Stages
Ironwood grows roughly 1 - 2 feet per year. With sufficient nutrients, a sapling can reach upwards of 50 feet fully grown with the largest recorded being 62 feet. Once the tree reaches 10-12 feet in height, it becomes sexually mature and is capable of producing pine cones. First pine cones are roughly half the size of an adult man's palm and grow by several inches each reproduction after. The largest recorded pine cone is 3 feet 2 inches.
Ecology and Habitats
Ironwood is capable of thriving in many types of climate and soils, but prefers colder climates with rocky terrain. This species thrives on iron rich soils and it is commonly found in the mountains and the remnants of ancient battlefields. The Ironwood tree absorbs iron from the soil and surrounding rock. The sap produced by this species when hardens can be substituted for actual iron in crafting.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Ironwood trees need iron to thrive, but are capable of surviving in areas where they are deprived of it by recycling it's own shed iron through the decay of old needles, bark, and saps.
Domesticated Ironwood trees tend to grow taller and stronger than their wild counterparts, due to the care they receive.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Ironwood trees are planted around larger cities in Sveldvar as natural wardings and defenses against invaders. Their pine cones, wood, and sap are used to create various weapons and armor more sturdy than normal wood. Needles and cones are capable of being utilized as projectiles and weaponry, often more effective against those who are not familiar with Ironwood.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Primarily found in Sveldvar and bordering countries.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
Ironwood trees have a give/take relationship with sentient species. Due to the iron absorbing nature of Ironwood trees, they are capable of parasitizing species that are not able to properly digest or handle their seeds.
Ironwood trees are a protected species in the kingdom of Sveldvar. It is commonly cultivated in large cities. Groves of Ironwood found in the wilds are mapped and regularly patrolled and surveyed to ensure the safety of the trees as well as gathering the seeds.
10 foot Diameter