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Lyubitel {Larch lover}

The plant known as Lyubitel or "Larch lover" (любитель лиственницы) is a creeper plant that can be found in the temperate to cold forests of Western Moskova. It is famous because its beautiful pinkish red flowers and because that despite many times people have tried to do it, it is impossible to grow them in other places than the forest. This peculiar trait has been subject of many theories, legends and folk tales.

Folklore

There are many stories about a supernatural origin of this plant and many tales featuring it. One of the most widely known stories is a folk tale called "Lover of the forest".   Click on here for reading the tale
Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far away there was a beautiful and young girl named Svetlana. She got a golden hair which she liked a lot to ornament with red flowers. She was kind, ingenious and loved by almost everyone in the kingdom. She wasn't just a girl like every other in the world. She was the Tsarevna of the kingdom.   Svetlana lived in a palace with lots of big golden onion domes and had everything she wanted excepting one thing. She wanted adventure.   It is said that one night, she decided to run away from her room in the tallest tower. She knotted some blankets and used them as a rope. She walked through the garden and noticed something moving among the blueberry bushes. She saw a guy of her age.   This guy's name was Dmitri. He had no house to live in nor food. He was stealing berries, but he also caught the princess's attention. Them began to talk every night and became friends. She added berries to the adorns of her hair.   The weeks passed and them both fell in love. She decided to go away from the garden with him and come back before the dawn. He had no much, but he got a happy place, a groove of larch trees. It became the happy place of both   One night, the Tsar found out that his daughter was gone as well as many blueberries from the garden. He called the royal guards to hunt down the thief. "Finish him!" He ordered to them.   Svetlana and Dmitri were playing with the birds in the forest. "I want to be here forever. Nature is my place. " she said. "And I want to be yours forever. My place is with you" he replied. The guards found them both and aimed to the boy with their bayonets. Them shot.   What happened next was magical. She hugged her lover and received the shoot. She saved his life.He turnt into a larch and she into a slimy plant. Her berries and flowers covered it all. Them ended together forever...inseparable.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

This plant is a creeper, which means that it grows up by climbing on a surface, in this case, another plant. The stem is curly and wooden and got an average width between 5 millimeters and 2 centimeters depending of the part of the plant we are looking at and its age.   The leaves are green and oval shaped, with tiny thorns on the edges. During autumn, the leaves turn orange and fall for regrowing when spring comes. During the winter only the berries are visible, making it the moment of recollection.   The roots are shallow and spread wide in the soil. They are also curly and tend to curl around the roots of the tree they live over.   This climber plant only can live over larch trees, making it a possibily parasitic plant. But something that's very strange for people is that the seeds only can grow in the Western forest. It is unknown why, it could be due the substrate or even due a supernatural reason.

Ecology and Habitats

This plant can be found in forests of Moskova, living on the trunk and branches of larch trees. This plant can live on a height from the level of the sea up to 1.000 meters over the sea level, as it can be found in the larch trees close to the Sentinel Mountains.   The Larch lover requires humidity for living and can stand up during winter, entering into a state of latency until spring. It cannot survive wildfires, but the seeds inside its berries can and in fact they can grow well by being fertilized by their mother's plant ashes after a fire.

Biological Cycle

The plant grows its flowers during spring and them got fertilized by birds. The berries start to grow in the summer and they mature in the fall. During winter, the plant doesn't grow neither leaves, flowers nor new branches, but the berries still being there and are eaten by animals like birds and squirrels. When those animals hide the fruits or the seeds in holes present on a larch tree's cortex, either near the floor or in the heights, the seeds germinate.

Additional Information

Domestication

There's no known way of domesticating this species.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The berries of this plant are used for medicinal purposes by several communities including Moskovar people from the cities since ancient times, making this plant a valuable product and also, creating an interest in cultivating it. There are many ways of eating the berries like jellies, cakes and drinks, usually mixed with other compounds due the strong flavor of the berries. The most common medicine recipe is the one listed below.

Lyubitel Jelly

  • 3 Larch Lover berries. • 3 Spoons of bee honey. • 1 Leaf of mint. • Water. • 1 Mashed apple. • 1 Egg.  
  1. Boil the berries.
  2. Mash the berries in a bowl and let them rest for a night in a dark place or covered with a piece of cloth.
  3. Add water and mix using a big wooden spoon .
  4. Add the honey spoons on the mashed berries and mix after each spoon added.
  5. Add the mashed apple, the egg and the mint in a bowl, mix and warm until the mix acquires a brownish color.
  6. Mix well the content of both bowls and drop it into a glass or pottery jar. Let it cool by burying it in a bunch of snow.
This jelly is used for lowering fever, treating eye ache, fatigue, somnolence, flu and toothache. However, some people attribute it even more curative properties, some of them are pretty curious. It is not recommended for treating bellyache. Lyubitel berry jelly can have high prices in city markets but it can be homemade. However, despite the recipe being pretty easy, messing the order of the ingredients or missing a step on the recipe can end into wrong results with weird health effects.   The berries only can be obtained from the forest, as all the trials of cultivating them on larch trees in gardens and farms had failed. This increases their value, making them a rarer fruit than almost all the other fruits sold in markets and makes it a subject of illegal commerce.
Plant book page about the lover
Plant book page by Gege16
Lifespan
5-10 years
Conservation Status
It is unclear how many individuals of this species exist as them all live in the Western forest and by the date is impossible to grow them in other places, so all the existing populations are natural ones.
Average Height
1- 10 meters
Geographic Distribution

Discovered by

Peoples and tribes from ancient times

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Cover image: Sunrise at Sentinel Mountains by Gege16

Comments

Author's Notes

Article written for the Peculiar Plants Challenge.


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Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
9 Mar, 2021 17:20

I like that you included the jelly recipe. Your Plant page book image is great!

Before becoming the Etonia Council, the members had to make it to Etonia. My Shipwright Challenge entry offers a glimpse into that story. Dìondair Malairt
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
9 Mar, 2021 17:31

And I just figured out to click for the hidden story! I scanned over it the first time too fast. That was fun to uncover.

Before becoming the Etonia Council, the members had to make it to Etonia. My Shipwright Challenge entry offers a glimpse into that story. Dìondair Malairt
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
9 Mar, 2021 17:58

Thank you a lot! I appreciate you like it! :D it was fun to do :) I also enjoyed a lot writing the story :)

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
15 Mar, 2021 21:57

This was a very nice article! I love the inclusion of recipe and the folk tale. That really makes this plant seem integrated in the culture. The images you added also look like notes and drawings a researcher of the plant would make. :)

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
16 Mar, 2021 19:14

Thank you so much! I'm very glad you like it! ♡ :D

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17 Mar, 2021 14:39

This is a really lovely article! Both the tale and the jelly recipe (oh my god that jelly recipe :')!) give such a nice feel of the world. I really do love reading about how plants interact with these aspects, and this was just lovely to read!

Author of Interarcanum.
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
18 Mar, 2021 17:01

Thank you a lot!! ❤ I appreciate you liked it, i had lots of fun writing the article.:D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
18 Mar, 2021 23:28

The tale did a good job of making the plant feel like a real part of your world. Also, the recipe was a good idea! I will adopt it to an article of my own in the future hehe.   Great article!


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
19 Mar, 2021 04:22

Thank you a lot for reading! I apprciate you like it and knowing that i inspired you is really flattering! :D ❤

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
22 Mar, 2021 23:53

Nice article! I love the different elements that you've incorporated to your article, with the drawing, the legend and the recipe.   I'm curious how you designed the recipe and chose the ingredients. Did you base it one a real recipe?

Feel free to check my ship challenge article.
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
23 Mar, 2021 17:42

Thank you so much! About the recipe...it just popped out xD I was thinking that if one of the famous traits of the plant is its medicinal use, the inclusion of at least one recipe for medicine would give more realism to it or at least help it to stand more strongly.   I didn't base it on a real recipe I know, but I tried to make it sound like one you'd find in a fairy tale or a Disney movie, with some funny "eww gross" factor mixed with a "yummy, delicious!", but also choosing ingredients that make sense with the characteristics of the setting. :D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
23 Mar, 2021 01:21

Jelly recipe!!! :O <3   I also really love the art you've done - it's kind of adorable. Really interesting plant. I love that you included a folktale too! <3

Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
23 Mar, 2021 17:49

Heheh thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it ! xD   Thank you so much! I appreciate you like it! I tried to make it look like if it was a traditional ink illustration (yep, is digital) you'd find at an old book of plants or on a researcher's journal...the writing on the page was kinda a challenge because is the first time I tried the cyrillic cursive.   I had lots of fun writing the folk tale, I like a lot how it turned out :D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
27 Mar, 2021 01:27

Your plant is very interesting and overall your article is very good. However, there are a few suggestions I will make. "During the winter only the berries are visible, making it the moment of the recollection." Maybe change "of the recollection" to "of recollection"? "Them are also curly and tend to curl around the roots of the tree they live over." I think "them" is supposed to be "they". "The plant grows its flowers during spring and them got fertilized by birds." "Them" is supposed to be "they". "During winter, the plant doesn't grow neither leaves, flowers or new branches, but the berries still being there and are eaten by animals like birds and squirrels." I think "or" should be "nor". "When those animals hid the fruits or the seeds in holes present on a larch tree's cortex, either near the floor or in the heights, the seeds germinate." "Hid" should be "hide". "• 3 Larch Lover berries. • 3 Spons of bee honey. • 1 Leaf of mint. • Water. • 1 Mashed apple. • 1 Egg." "Spons" should be "Spoons" "The berries only can be obtained from the forest, as all the trials of cultivating them on larch trees in gardens and farms had failed." There is an extra space between "trees" and "in". "The berries start to grow in the summer and them madurate in the fall." There are extra spaces between "berries" and "start", and "madurate" and "in". Once again I think "them" is supposed to be "they". I believe "madurate" is supposed to be mature? "There's not known way of dommesticating this species." Change "not" to no and "dommesticating" to domesticating. "This increases their value, making them a rarer fruit than almost all the other fruits sold in markets and makes it a subject of illegal commerce" Add a period at the end.

Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
27 Mar, 2021 19:37

Thanks a lot for the feedback! English is not my native language so this is very useful! :D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
31 Mar, 2021 19:58

No problem!

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
30 Mar, 2021 10:42

A very nice tale in the spoiler and I like as well their way to grow back, in the same areas, after wildfires; I suppose that some people might consider it some kind of magic.

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Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
30 Mar, 2021 16:54

Thank you so much, Luca!! :D I'm happy you like it!

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
7 Apr, 2021 16:39

Hi Gege!   First, let me say that your handdrawn Plant Book sketches are incredible! Your use of the 'spoiler' for the embeded tale is a nice formating decision, and I appeciate the allusion to why the plant only grows on Larch trees. The inclusion of a jelly receipe is a great idea, and I like that you've considered economics and legal/illegal commerce in the use details. Wonderful 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.
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
8 Apr, 2021 02:55

Hi!! Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm very glad you like it! I really appreciate it! :D ♡☆

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10 Apr, 2021 14:10

Having read both the article and the comments, I have to say as a non-native English writer/speaker you writer better than some natives to the language. Galaxy38 pointed out basically all of the changes I would make, but none of them were glaring enough to distract me from the article. I also greatly enjoyed both the inclusion of the story and the jelly recipe.

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Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
13 Apr, 2021 22:04

Hi!! Thanks you so much for your nice words, I appreciate a lot that you liked it! I enjoyed a lot to write this entry, I'm surprised about the good reception it is having ♡♡   Also, i'm surprised to read this, it makes me really happy ! :) I consider that I'm still having a lot to learn, but I must recognize that reading and writing on World Anvil is making me to improve my language skills. Galaxy38's feedback was very useful!

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
17 Apr, 2021 11:05

I really like the drawing here, really helps paint the picture in my mind. And that jelly recipe is awesome! Just 3 berries on all of those other ingredients, holy heck that really drives home how strong the berry flavour is!

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Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
18 Apr, 2021 00:07

Thank you a lot! I appreciate you like it :D ♡ It was fun to write!

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