And it’s also June World-Building! So I’m shifting over to Inspector Caracal’s questions, but as I already had a few (a week) written on the first set, there’s some overlap. (and I skipped question six on the “Official” list).
6- What kinds of wild and domesticated plants grow there?
Are there many types or only a few?
Oooh! *Rubs hands together*
Some spoilers below for Expectant Wood.
okay, well, obviously there are the Island Trees. Those are neither wild nor domesticated: those are created by magic!
They are mile-ish (varies depending on the tree) flower-like plants. They have a very thick, magically strong trunk/stem which leads up to dozens of spreading supports like the underside of a blossom. These, in turn, hold up the mass of the land of the islands.
All of the plants have a hollow in the center; they all also have a trap set-up within the stem like a pitcher plant, except with a deglutition process that actually moves prey into the “stomach.” It is from passing birds and other flighted animals that the trees gain much of their nutrition, since holding up an island that big takes a lot of work.
They are actually growing, but at a very slow rate.
In addition to the things that make up the concept of the story, the jungles around the trees are lush with plant life. Cartwright comments several times that he is good with plants, in a jungle that is ripe with natural plants, plants which have been mutated, and self-hybridized variations, that is no small feat. The magic that grew the trees and changed some of the animals also did a number on the foliage.
Plants that have been mentioned in story:
Something that makes a very large seed pod (big enough for sleeping in by an adult).
A plant called Jesham’s Ladder
Smaller seed-pods that can be used for mugs
strange flowers — all center and no petals — and, off of the path, a thistle-like plant as tall as she was
Plants which soothed bad dreams, drew the infection out of wounds, helped to heal the bleeding sickness — and that it grew only in certain places.
Rushes in many colors, or at least a rush-like plant
Beans, and something to make porridge with; nutmeg
Something which makes a healing poultice.
Leaves to cover windows, and a paste which breaks down some of the fibers while leaving others, leaving a wax reside.
The white-leaf willow creates, from its bark, a powder which in small doses is quite beneficial but in large doses can stop the heart.
"The powder I used on the fooxin there is from a plant called gallowgless by the natives. It has nearly transparent leaves and flowers, but they cause some miserable side effects if even touched and, if inhaled, can cause paroxysms and, in bad cases, death. Primarily, however, it makes one believe one is covered all over in hives."
Something to make someone sleep
A bush with little berries that are brilliantly sweet with just a hint of tartness behind the sugar.
noxious bug-repelling leaves
From up Above: The Trace-Leaf plant looks like a lacy doily, but it can cause an allergic reaction with a touch and can kill you if you ingest it.