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Flora of Marind Bell, part I


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After browsing various forums, I decided this is the best one to hold my topic, mostly because it seems Rumi tried to bring some botanical knowledge into MD just as I would (I don't know Rumi, though). This text is not focused on the community garden. However, it's directed at the same kind of people that would get involved in the creation of a garden, hence the choice of place.

Botanical knowledge, I think, is just another layer that can be added to MD, even if the core refers to introspection and exploration of the mind. I think the creation of self has a lot to do with what surrounds us, in ways we cannot even imagine. 

I had a little fun trying to illustrate very short descriptions of three plant families that I see present in Marind Bell. I kinda did my best, taking into account I don't illustrate, but if it looks nothing like the subject...try to do better than me :D

     Tjuf was the ancient Egyptian name for the reed's relative, the papyrus. The name still lives in the Balkans of today, though it refers to the  common reed - also named rush. A lover of wetlands, the rush colonizes large areas with...haste.
    The reed's flowering spikes are iconic and impossible to forget, as well as the rustling leaves of reeds. They are  hairless, tall and straight, and were found useful for many, many things.  Thatched roofs, rafts or boats, sandals, mats, garments and even rope or paper - the reed  can be turned into any of these. 
    It can also be harvested for its starchy rhizomes and tender shoots, or its  copious pollen. The rhizomes can be made into floor, cooked or even eaten raw, just like the shoots. Many a swamp has been cleaned by them - so make sure where you get them from.
    In Marind Bell, the reed can be found surrounding the Angien Lake like a ring.

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     The mallows trace their name back to the Egyptian glory of more than ten thousands years ago, when they were called, just as today, Moloch. Moloch, malva, or the mallow  has an axillary inflorescence breaching out of a large flower that comes in shades of blue and violet, red and pink, yellow and white.
    Many species of mallow exist, but there's something they have in common - individuals  can change their gender. Although starting as males, they can turn into females when the need arises. 
    Many mallows are eaten as leaf vegetables, either cooked or raw - buds and flowers, too. Even the unripe fruitlets  can be eaten. After thousands of years, the Molokheyia dish of Egypt is still cooked the same simple way: with mallow leaves, garlic, spices and, if possible, meat.
    The leaves are demulcent and can be chewed to sooth coughs or sore throats. As a  soothing agent, it relieves minor pain and membrane inflammation; some prepare the leaves for internal use. The syrup made is used to treat inflammation of the digestive and urinary systems. 
    In Marind Bell, there are molochs everywhere - behind marble stairs, in shaded alleys
or the nearby doors of the Shop or the Keep.

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      The star plant - is the latin name given to the genus this herb belongs to, whose flower  resembles a star. What distinguishes Stellaria's flower from others is the way its petals and sepals 
alternate so you don't know which is which. Both number 5 and look the same.
    Stellaria prefers places with lots of water and shade, but it tolerates sun as well. It germinates in autumn or late winter, to form large mats of foliage in spring. Stellaria is a hardy plant.
    The tender leaves, buds and flowers can be eaten raw - with moderation. Like other edible plants such as nettle, it has a high content of minerals, particularly iron and potassium, but also toxins like oxalates and saponins.
    You're likely to miss it when passing in a hurry. When resting, the small white flowers  on long stems, with contrasting yellow and red stamens, catch your eye inadvertently. 

    In Marind Bell, it is found in places like Sage's Keep or Wind's Sanctuary. 
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