One of the most important medicinal plants that can be found growing in Turoza, most people are taught to recognise the plant from a young age and treat it with immense respect.
The main body of Spiritus Vitae plants tend to grow between 1 and 2 feet in height, and have large pointed leaves that are shaped like rounded rectangles. Its root system is comprised of a single large root that sprouts from the middle of the plant, and is surrounded by a cluster of smaller capillary roots that spread around the plant and can grow as much as four feet away from the main body. During the spring months, Spiritus Vitae plants produce flower stems that reach an average height of five feet from the ground. The flower heads themselves are formed from large balls made up of as many as thirty individual flowers. These flowers are a light blue in colour and each one is made up of four heart shaped petals.
Ecology and Habitats
Spiritus Vitae plants prefer damp shaded environments, and do not grow well in direct sunlight, or in climates that are more arid. Their preferred habitats are on the floors of dense forests and woodlands, where they grow in the shade of the trees.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
The most important use of the Spiritus Vitae plant is in the variety of medicinal properties that the different parts of the plant possesses. The petals are particularly prized as they are the key ingredient in the production of a medicine to combat Greenscale Plague. As the plants only flower once a year, with an individual plant being in bloom for less than two weeks, Spiritus Vitae petals can fetch an incredibly high price, especially when fresh, though dried petals are expensive in their own right. Spiritus Vitae plants are often cultivated by herbalists with the sole aim being the harvesting of flower petals each year. The central root is often dried and ground into a powder; as one would with ginger or turmeric roots, and has a nutty earthy flavour that lends itself well to sue in cooking. Consuming the root is thought to be good for digestion, and doctors and healers will often prescribe it for treating stomach ailments. The leaves of the plant are rich in iron, and people with ailments of the blood are often told to consume them.