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Century Cactus

Basic Information

Anatomy

Thorny Leaves

Wide and lengthy leaves with thorny edges that grow at an angle to the main stem until they droop into arches whose tip are dragged along as the plant moves.

Bole

A rough, spherical and thick-walled muscle that acts as the pivot point for movement.

Roots

Woody rootlet hairs that spring out sideways from the bole in shaggy clumps to prevent tipping. They dig into the soil as temporary roots before uprooting and crawling to new locations.

Biological Traits

Ambulatory Movement

They can lift themselves about a quarter of a foot off of the ground on their woody roots that grow from their boles.
They move as well as a potted plant can. And their not even in pots.
— comments of the Salt Dock garrison
  Indeed, with their tall central stems and rigid leaves, the plant moves slowly and awkwardly across surfaces.

Genetics and Reproduction

Sexually

Near the end of its life, the plant sends up a tall, branched stalk, laden with yellow blossoms, that may reach twice that of a man. birds, wind or rain would scatter millions of seeds from its flowers, of which only one or two seeds germinate into new cactuses.    

Stem Cutting

A piece of an adult cactus is removed and allowed to dry and callous. It can then be transplanted to newer locations to take root from the cut end and start growing into a new plant within 2 years.

Ecology and Habitats

The cactus can only sustain itself in highly salty, dry and unshifting ground.

Dietary Needs and Habits

It is obvious to gardeners that salt is a high requirement to plant growth. Though why that is undetermined.
— comments of a Garden Keeper

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Octli

Customary Beverages
Document | Jun 2, 2020
An alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the century plant. It is traditional to the Greys in Salt Place, where it has been produced for millennia. It has the color of milk, somewhat viscous consistency and a sour yeast-like taste.  

Cactus Needles

Century needles plucked from cactus used in manufacturing textiles and as tools in medicines and tattooing.

Century Oil

A clean burning and long lasting fuel but takes 5 to 6 years between planting and gaining full oil production.

Oil Cake

A nutritious feed meant for animals made from the mashed leaves, but can be eaten by people as well.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

It is often found in hot climates and where drought conditions occur.
Salt Place
Geographic Location | Aug 3, 2020

Salt Place

A high altitude salt flat that experiences wide fluctuations in temperature between day and night.
Salt Docks
Geographic Location | Dec 24, 2020

Salt Docks

The majority of the island to set aside to growing century cacti to make Octli for noble consumption.

Lifespan
100 years
Conservation Status
Reserved and harvested in specially built Ranges.
Average Height
6 - 10 ft
Average Length
3-5 ft long leaves
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Gray-green
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
Sang
Ethnicity | May 11, 2021
Jax
Item | Jan 2, 2021

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Cover image: Triffids3

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