GeneralThese plants are some of the least understood creatures in the world. More is known about Dragons, Unicorns, and Giants than about Leatherleaf. The reason is Leatherleaf is the only plant that is able to grow plant cells and animal cells. At the top of its stem a small collection of animal cells, that act and taste just like meat, grow. The Elves started using this plant long before the Dwarfs found the Elvish continent of Spire. The Elves were using Leatherleaf in place of ranching or kill animals. This new crop allowed them to section off a small area of their moving cities to grow these plants and not worry about needing to hunt. When explorers found the Elves growing meat in farms they paid dearly to import this discovery back to the Dwarvish Mountain homes. Now a days Leatherleaf can been seen growing all across the world. While raising animals for milk, wool, and other products is still done the need to raise them for slaughter has died out years ago.
The general structure is the same as most plants. Roots form the base where the stem jets upward from. At the top of the stem, where a flower would generally be, is a small pouch. During the early stages of development this pouch encases a small amount of animal cells. Once the plant has developed enough the pouch will dissolve and allow these animal cells to function freely. This is the only known plant to be able to produce animal cells. These animal cells are highly adept at fighting back toxins and positions, since this plant's original home held a lot of toxic animals it was vital to develop a defense system. These animal cells will keep growing throughout the plants life and will even produce a form of pollen. The more toxin that is present around the plant the more animal cells it will grow to defend itself. These cells will slowly travel down the side of the plant until incasing it, except for the leaves. The major biological interest of this plant is that these animal cells can be harvested and function exactly like meat. They can be cooked and eaten without the need of animals.
Genetics and Reproduction
The plant produces pollen internally and then expels it on the leaves. The animal cells of the plant have a reddish color and the leaves slowly turn yellow with pollen, this color contrast is what attracts the pollinators to the leaves.
Growth Rate & Stages
Due to the dangerous environment of their evolution these plants grow quite quickly. Taking only about 2-3 months to grow. During that time they produce a complex root structure, around 7-9 leaf off shoots, and a small collection of animal cells. For a plant to grow out all its animal cells that takes about 4 months.
Ecology and Habitats
Originating on the content of Spire in the a grassland region just north of the desert these plants do not require large amounts of rain. They are also accustomed to hot tempters.
Dietary Needs and Habits
While the plant does have animal cells all energy requirements are done through photosynthesis in the plant cells. There is little known about how the plant cells transmit the energy from themselves to the animal cells though.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Once only found in Spire but can now be seen growing all across the world.
Current Date -
The Yet Unnamed Year of 1494 ce
2 - 3 feet
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