The Alsihaliat, also known as the Bloom of Moonlight or Silver Lady, is a rare but much sought after cactus native to the region of Ahn'Quiret. Over the years people have managed to cultivate it for the decorative gardens of the nobles and cities though not without great difficulties. Festivals revolve around this special plant as its immensely fragrant blooms only open once, but a single plant can produce multiple blooms throughout the summer season. Ambitious perfumers have managed to successfully distill Alsihaliat blooms into one of Ahn'Quirat's most popular exports, and in some places of the world can fetch an obscene amount of gold for the merchants willing to brave the often tumultuous seas and the ports that lay beyond. Its fruit is considered a delicacy of the region and is popular in desserts due to its sweetness but acquiring it for such a purpose is expensive and difficult. Some claim the fruit to also have varying healing properties but it is not one embraced by the physicians and clerics.
Alsihaliat is a tall branching cactus that can grow up to 20 feet tall. The stems are cylindrical with scalloped leaf-like dark green branches. It produces large white multi-petaled flowers that grow in a funnel shape and can be up to 11 inches long, and produce a fragrance that is highly prized. The blooms only open at night and close before dawn, responding to the soft light of the moon rather than the harsh light of the sun. After the flowering the Alsihaliat produces small red fruits about 2-4 inches long that are round in shape and bumpy in texture. The fruit is edible and a rare staple in Ahn'Quiretean cuisine.
Genetics and Reproduction
Like most cacti in the region the plant has both male and female parts by which it reproduces. The male part gives off pollen which depends on birds or bats in order to spread said pollen to the female part of the plant which then produces seeds which are contained in the red fruit that follows flowering. The fruit and the black seeds within are scattered either by animal or weather though few survive long enough to take root.
Growth Rate & Stages
Alsihaliat reaches full growth around 2-3 years, depending on location and weather conditions. Flowers are not produced until a year after maturity, which contributes to its rarity. In the wild it can live roughly 7 years but with careful cultivation a healthy Alsihaliat can live 10 years or more.
Ecology and Habitats
As with all such cacti the Alsihaliat thrives in the rocky and arid regions of Ahn'Quirat. They grow few and far between in the wild, but sometimes they can be found growing among other species of cacti. Admirers of this unique plant manage to successfully grow it all throughout the region, though care and attentiveness must be given to ensure its survival especially in costal areas.