'Alashaia Species in Mudewei | World Anvil
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'Alashaia

It looks like a pomegranate and tastes like a cross between an apple and an orange.
— Ta'zhen describing the fruit to Erin Kavanaugh
  The temperate forests south of the polar cap are filthy with the bush that grows 'alashaia berries. 'Alashaia derives from a Stenza term meaning something close to "brown/beige delicious", after the fruit's appearance to them (although it would seem bright red to anyone with full color vision), but the Sandibari who introduced their northern neighbors to the fruit had a different word for it altogether (specifically "poisonous"; as a show of strength, some Stenza warriors consumed the fruits as a challenge and were shocked to discover no ill effects). Part of the Sandibari/Stenza diplomatic arrangement involved the trade of 'alashaia fruit. Many Sandibari were happy to get rid of them, allowing the Stenza to harvest them in bulk and ship them north for food preservation. 'Alashaia remains a staple food in the Stenza diet, next to Basket Horns.

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

'Alashaia plants bloom early in the month of Last Sunset (on the Stenza calendar), washing their transitional area between the Sandibari Forests proper and the souther boundary of the Frozen Wastes in almost every shade of purple imaginable to attract pollinators (usually of cousin species to the Sandibari themselves). (The flowers also make good forage for northern herbivores, up to and including Basket Horns animals.) Once pollinated, the plant begins to grow their signature fruits.   It is theorized by Stenza researchers that in the distant past, the 'alashaia fruit was a favorite snack of one of their ancestors or cousin species, who could eat the fruit with little trouble and disperse the seeds at the edges of the Wastes. This species has since gone extinct or adapted out of that niche, so the fruits, which the Sandibari and many other species had no use for and actively avoided, fell and rotted, decreasing its former range. However, because the Stenza can eat the fruit with little trouble, it has begun to spread again and even cropped up off-world once or twice. (Additionally, it is fairly common for some groups of Stenza, often botanists, to cultivate 'alashaia on purpose.)   Once it germinates, a young 'alashaia plant will take roughly one year to mature (if left undisturbed) before flowering for the first time.

Ecology and Habitats

The 'alashaia bush thrives in the colder temperate conditions of the forests south of the north polar cap. It often engages in semi-symbiotic relationships with other bushes and trees which prefer cooler air, gaining shelter from the harsh arctic wind and fixing nutrients in the soil with the help of local bacteria.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

'Alashaia typically thrives in the temperate forests near the polar cap, while still warm enough to support diverse plant life. They are constrained by warmer and more volatile weather to the south.
Average Height
>1 meter
Related Technologies

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Comments

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Jun 12, 2021 20:36 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Sounds delicious. I like that the seeds start off poisonous as a way to protect the plant/fruit. :D

Jun 13, 2021 20:40

It's one of the many things plants do on Earth to protect themselves, Consider the chili pepper, for example.