Floating Briar

Floating briars are an unusual plant species which uses the wind currents to spread. Unlike other plants, however, floating briars are neutrally buoyant in air, capable of feeding on other plants, birds, and small animals caught in their razor-sharp leaves, and migrate on wind currents. These semi-carnivorous, flying briar patches are a serious danger to air travel in regions associated with the Distal Tesseract.

Basic Information


A floating briar is similar in structure to a succulent, with the edges and tips of each thin, gas-filled "leaf" terminating in a razor-sharp silicate blade. The "leaves" depend from thicker "branches" with a similar structure, with the whole mass having a wind-swept appearance in relation to the individual's typical direction of travel. In the core of the plant is a root ball, where sensitive, fibrous tendrils quickly absorb any moisture or organic substances in contact with them, and a central gas bladder with a spiny appearance.

Genetics and Reproduction

Floating briars reproduce sexually, with each individual being of a single gender. During the spring, each plant produces several sweet-smelling, carnation blue flowers around the central gas bladder. Male plants produce spores which are carried on the wind or by pollinators small enough to avoid the danger presented by the razor-sharp leaves. Once the flowers of the female are fertilized, the central bud of each flower produces a single dark blue fruit which promptly falls to the ground. Small animals eat the fruit and, in doing so, provide manure fertilizer for the juvenile plant. After a relatively short gestation period, the plant begins to grow on the ground until it is mature enough to produce sufficient lifting gas, at which point it takes to the skies like it's parents once did.

Growth Rate & Stages

Once emerged from it's seeds, a floating briar is large and mature enough to take flight within a single season. During it's time on the ground, the plant's root ball draws nutrition from the soil, but the roots are not anchored strongly enough to the soil to prevent the plant from flying once it is mature enough.

Ecology and Habitats

Floating briars are endemic to the Distal Tesseract and associated cube layers, though the Caudal Tesseract also possesses a few swarms to the occasional chagrin of the Verdial residents thereof.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Once airborne, a floating briar must rely on becoming snagged on digestible plants, soil, or animals to maintain nutrition; the occasional blood of a bird caught in the leaves, for example, is often enough sustenance so long as water and sunlight are available to complete the plant's metabolic cycles. Once the "prey" is digested enough, the leaves attached to the animal die and detach so that that plant can continue on it's way. This is a form of passive feeding, as the floating briar possesses no form of intelligence so to speak.

Biological Cycle

The color of a floating briar ranges from light green or yellow in the spring, dark green in the summer, orange in the fall, and dark red in the winter. The plant produces it's own heat due to decay processes in the winter, allowing the plant to rise high above the range of most predators during this time.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The fruit of floating briars has a warm and astringent flavor with a hint of sweetness. Mulled wines and brandies featuring floating briar fruit are cherished by Petalcap Vale citizens. Like rhubarb, chemical analysis of floating briar fruit has revealed that improperly harvested fruit have a degree of mild toxicity to them, though it would take a large quantity of raw fruit to notice any ill effects.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Floating briars are symbiotic with various flying insects, with pollinators increasing fruit yields.
Floating briars are not known to have a maximum lifespan, with random deaths typically occurring during particularly lean winter months.
Conservation Status
Floating briars are considered pests due to the threat they pose to pets, airborne vehicles, and certain soft-skinned crops. Nevertheless, the fruit of floating briars is valued for it's astringent tartness and supposed pharmaceutical properties, meaning that Petalcap wardens frown on foreign hunters who "poach" the briars rather than acting in self defense against them.
Average Height
A floating briar can measure up to two feet tall and wide.
Average Weight
A floating briar is neutrally buoyant in air, but a fully evacuated specimen can weigh as much as five pounds.
Average Length
A floating briar is usually about half again as long as it is tall.

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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