WorldEmber2018

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Kava

A grass stronger than steel

This plant, growing much like bamboo on Earth, towers to heights of over one hundred meters in this low-gravity environment. Technically, if classified by the Linnaean system used for Earth plants, this plant would more likely fit into the "grass" classification. A sample taken back to base measured a tensile strength greater than steel.

– Preliminary Report on Flora, received by Earth 2460 A.D.

  The Kava plant, also known as the Adamantine Grass, is an especially strong species of grass that is prevalent across much of the Eastern Gate Alliance within the dome. Outside the Dome, the grass grows across a landmass the size of Australia, where the Drone headquarters are located. Culturally for those within the Eastern Gate Alliance, the Kava represents adaptability as well as strength.

Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

The Adamantine Grass is composed of a Claran analog to xylem and phloem, and has a hollow core, like bamboo on Earth. However, unlike bamboo, generally only one to three shoots grow per plant, and the rhizomes that enable horizontal growth are not present.   As with bamboo, it grows with several different segments, referred to as internodes, connected together by seams (referred to as nodes). Unlike bamboo, this plant is reinforced with several especially strong cellulose strands growing perpendicular to the node seams between the segments. This gives it tensile strength stronger than steel, which allows it to grow tall enough to outcompete many other shorter trees.   Also unlike bamboo on Earth, the plant clusters its leaves near the top of the bamboo stalk, leaving the bottom mostly bare. This is to help get what sunlight it can, given that it is often cloudy or foggy in its habitats.

Genetics and Reproduction

The plant reproduces unlike most plants on Earth, scattering spores when it can to disperse its offspring nearby. The spores are scattered easily in the windy, misty forests. They are found under the leaves of the plant. Another interesting characteristic it shares with Earth plants is alternation of generations: they reproduce asexually in one generation, and then sexually in the next.

Ecology and Habitats

The kava plant, by virtue of its great strength, can create forests of its own even though it technically is a grass. The plant's forests are best shown in the marshy soil of southern Zentland, where it thrives, growing a deep taproot to stabilize itself against winds.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The Halora currently does not use the kava plant as a building material, but just as a skyscraper itself. Due to its incredibly hard wood and great strength, the creatures are hard-pressed to find things that could cut through the main stem.

– Archived Report

  Throughout their stone-age development, the Brown Halora has used this plant. First, they would only be able to cut off smaller, side branches and leaves, to help make their nests directly on the strong, swaying grass. Later, as they began development of bronze, things changed.   The kava grass was and still is sacred to many Halora. Because of this, the main development of agriculture did not infringe on much of the kava forest, and instead spread through the grassland of Central Zentland. Every time a kava was cut down to build something, there would be a large ceremony, and the times the material was mass-used is rare.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The kava plant was theorized to have thrived in an earlier epoch, termed the Garden of Eden stage informally by scientists investigating biology.   Formally, the Paradisus Epoch is the epoch before the current stage of increasing glaciation, in which the moon was almost globally forested. Even now, the kava exist on every continent of Clara, from Zentland at the equator to Gloran in the arctic.

Scientific Name
Herbarbor adamanteus
Origin/Ancestry
Clara
Lifespan
Unknown, high in optimum conditions
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Average height
80-100 m
Average weight
Variable
Cross-Section of a Kava Plant
Cross-Section of Plant by ElementalShrike
 

Navigation

Flora (Producers):
 
Turrim
Species | Dec 5, 2018

A massive tree species poking through the Kava forest's canopy


 
Kava
Species | Dec 7, 2018

A grassy, bamboo-like plant covering much of Clara


 
Corpse Pipegrass
Species | Dec 6, 2018

A parasitic plant that has lost all its pigmentation

Primary Consumers:
 
Kava Gliding Rat
Species | Dec 4, 2018

The objectively cutest animal in Zentland

Secondary Consumers:
 
Brown Halora
Species | Dec 1, 2018

The sentient species from Clara


Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
1 Dec, 2018 01:50

A gorgeous explanation as to why they're so strong!   Does it bend under its own weight with time? How is its root structure—even with lower gravity I'd imagine the wind + mass would put a lot of strain on the roots so they must be quite complex or deep!   Do any societies use it from building or weaponry? If so, how do they refine it?

6 Dec, 2018 15:40

It mainly has a long taproot, deep into the marshy ground, as well as branching roots to stabilize it in three dimensions. It does not bend under its own weight, but it does sway with the wind. Societies may use it, but in the early stages of development, they couldn't break it, it was so strong :) Edited.

1 Dec, 2018 02:23

I never knew i could find something interesting in a species of grass, but you have proved me wrong. Short and to the point, without losing any descriptive value. Very nice! I am curious what the plant might be used for, and what other species live around it.

6 Dec, 2018 15:42

The plant can be used, but it isn't used very often. It is sacred in most cultures, and it is very, very hard to break. The turrim tree's wood is more commonly used, or other saplings.

2 Dec, 2018 02:09

You're so smart. I am awe-struck.

6 Dec, 2018 20:29

I didn't expect reading about a plant to be so interesting and this article gave me some ideas on how to handle plants in my own world.   How do people harvest this plant if it is so strong and what tools do they have to use? Also, there seems to be a problem with the tooltip under Geographic Origin & Distribution.   Great article, keep up the good work!

6 Dec, 2018 21:30

It's a well done article, with a lot of depth of how the plant works and the culture behind it. Though I want to ask one important question: since the plant is so hard to cut down, are there any species of animals capable of eating it? Are there pandas with teeth able to break these steel bamboo? Or is it one of those species of plants that if unchecked can take over entire forests? Also noticed at the end your tooltip doesn't have an end to it.

6 Dec, 2018 21:35

How quick do they grow? Is it as quick as bamboo? I imagine this plant can seriously reconstruct how a society functions and what it uses/how it looks (bamboo armor!)   How heavy is it? Is it as heavy as Steel too?   How do you harvest it? Do you use reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal sharp blades, or is there a trick to it? How do they react to fire, or acid?   There's some random late-night thoughts. :)

7 Dec, 2018 00:18

That's really interesting and I love the explanation of why the plant is so strong! Its an interesting explanation that makes a lot sense in context. I bet the forests where it grows look beautiful!

Out of curiosity, I get that kava is sacred, but is it used for anything today? I imagine that something that strong would be very useful. Also, its a plant, so how heavy/light is it for its strength?