River Twine Flora: Basic Flora   2.9*  
Written By: Amy Chandler, Mary Jo Jeffers, Cindy Pruitt, Rachel Vardys, Whitney Ware
Posted: 11/11/06      [No comments yet]

by Amy Chandler, with additional material from Mary Jo Jeffers, Cindy Pruitt, Rachel Vardys & Whitney Ware

The forest surrounding RiverTwine Holt is made up of many types of trees, including pine, cedar, fir, birch, ash, spruce, hickory, maple, sycamore, aspen, cottonwood, oak, willow, and redwood. The list is expansive and too numerous to list completely. There are many types of each of the trees listed above and they could be called generically by those names. Here are a few specifically named specimens that should be noted for their usefulness as well as several that should be avoided. Pictures of specimens, when available, are located below the entry.

Flora are listed by the name the elves use for a species; differing Earth names are listed in paranthesis. Species listed as "unique" are unique to the fictional world. Note -- authors can use an Earth term for a flora species in narrative, but in elf dialogue, the elves' name for the plant should be used.

This article will be periodically updated with new materials as often as members wish to continue to submit new content. Please send all flora submissions to Amy at longshot@rivertwine.com.)


Bittertree (buckeye): has fan-shaped compound leaves, bears smooth dark brown nuts in fall, is very hardy and difficult to kill, but serves no use for the elves, wood is too soft to hold shaping well, bark has an unpleasant sour smell, leaves and nuts are poisonous

Brownfruit tree (wild pear): medium sized tree that bears brown bulbous fruit in the late summer and fall, grows near the edges of the forest

Capnut tree (oak tree):has lobed leaves with jagged edges and capped, slightly bitter-tasting, nuts. Nuts and bark can be used as a tanning agent. Nuts can be eaten if tannin is leeched from them first.

Chokecherry tree (chokecherry): small tree/large shrub, has thin pointy leaves, in the spring has sprigs of tiny white flowers, late summer brings dark purple or black fruit, leaves and seeds are extremely poisonous, fruit is edible but unpalatable so therefore only eaten in extreme circumstances, aged fruit makes a green dye

Handtree (sassafras): has leaves with 3 different shapes resembling hands. Leaves can be chewed as a stimulant or tea made from the roots

Mourningtree (weeping willow): grows near riverbanks, has long thin leaves that droop downward, bark can be brewed as a tea for pain relief, limbs can be woven for baskets

Pipetree (elderberry): small tree, has long fronds of compound leaves, white star shaped flowers, black berries, has many uses, twigs with pith removed make hollow tubes for musical instruments or blow guns, leaves and flowers are used in poultices for burns or wounds to fight infection, roots are made into a tea relieving respiratory symptoms, dried bark is a laxative, berries can be eaten

(no photo available)

Puckernut tree: has large, pointy leaves that are dark green in color, black bark, and sour tasting nuts. Bark can be used as a tanning agent.

Redleaf tree (Redbud): has large heart shaped leaves that turn bright red in the autumn, in the spring has bursts of tiny dark pink flowers, flowers can be eaten if necessary, roots can be used to make a red dye

Sugartree (Sugar Maple): leaves have 5 lobes, sap can be collected to make a thick sweet syrup that can be used to flavor food or quiet a cough temporarily

Tartfruit tree (wild apple): medium sized tree that bears green or light red fruit in the late summer and fall, grows near the edges of the forest

Willow tree: grows near riverbanks and marshes, has black bark, thin limbs, bright green lance-like leaves, roots can be boiled for medicinal uses such as a fever reducer, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory


Berryvine (Muscadine): drapes on the limbs of trees deep into the forest, likes indirect sunlight, during the summer bears small clusters of greenish berries that can be eaten
Starvine (Partridgeberry): thin vine with small round leaves that grows around stumps and at the base of large trees, flowers are white and shaped like a 4 pointed star, bears red berries, berries can be eaten fresh or dried by expectant mothers to promote a quick and easy labor
Stonefruit vine (wild potato, aka morning glory): vine has dark green heart shaped leaves, wide conical spring flowers are white with a purplish red center, vine creeps along the forest floor or drapes over other small trees and bushes, root is very large (about the size of a newborn cub), the root is a tasty starch if roasted in the embers of a fire, in it's raw state root is a purgative, seeds have a narcotic effect similar to opium
(no photo available) Strangleweed: carnivorous vine with light green leaves found on the forest floor, this plant can and will kill small to medium sized animals and elves, the vine is able to move to constrict it its prey, the vine is thick and leathery making it difficult to cut, active spring through fall but dormant during the winter

Sweetvine (Honeysuckle): Vine that grows rapidly in the spring at the edge of the forest, dark green leaves, pale yellow or white conical flowers, cubs love to suck the nectar out of the flowers, the vine can be woven into baskets when dried

Shrubs & Small Plants

Arrowhead plant (wapatoo): grows in shallow water, has bright green arrow shaped leaves that sprout above the water, has small white flowers, the root is edible, can be eaten raw but tastes better boiled or baked, baked roots can be dried and saved for winter
Blackberry: medium sized shrub with thorns, bears tiny cluster of red berries which ripen and turn black in the fall, berries can be eaten or used to make a purple dye

Bloodberry (cranberry): small plant found in marshy areas near the rivers, leaves are small and grey-green or purple, bears a dark red fruit in late summer, fruit is edible, fruit can be used to treat infection or make a red dye
(no photo available) Dreamberry bush (unique): medium sized bush covered with dark green leaves, bears dark purple berries in the summer and fall, berries have hallucinogenic quality on elves
Dyeweed (dyer's woad): grows 1 to 4 feet tall, stalk is a bluish-green, flowers are yellow and form into small clusters, leaves are short and pointed, seeds are winged and black, isn't poisonous but is unpalatable, only useful purpose is that the leaves can be fermented to produce a blue dye
Itchleaf (poison ivy): small plant with clusters of three leaves, skin contact with the leaves can cause an outbreak of itchy red sore
(no photo available) Moonberry bush (unique, no photo): large shrub with waxy green leaves, grows in marshy areas near the river, has very large white moon-shaped berries, berries are edible but not tasty, crushed berries can be used to make a dark purple dye
Passionberry (wild strawberry): small plant that grows at the base of trees, has jagged tri-lobed leaves, small white flowers in the spring, bright red heart shaped berries appear in the summer, considered to be an aphrodisiac
Snowberry bush (snowberry): has dull grey green leaves, pink flowers in the spring bears white waxy berries in the summer and fall, berries crushed and rubbed on skin will block scent, however berries can be poisonous to cubs if ingested and would give adults stomach cramps
Stinkleaf (Western skunk cabbage): grows in swamps and marshes, has very large leaves and a single yellow flower, leaves grow between 1 to 4 feet long and 1 to 2 feet wide, one of the first sprouts in spring, named for foul odor the plant exudes which gets worse if the leaves are bruised, bears eat the root as a laxative after hibernation, leaves are used in cooking particularly as a wrap in which to bake fish

Herbs & Grasses:

Bluespear (camas): grows 1 to 4 feet tall, has long thin leaves at base, blue flowers grow off tall central stalk, young shoots are boiled and eaten, mature bulbs are dug up in late fall and baked in pit ovens for 2 days, baked bulbs can be eaten immediately or dried for winter, baked bulb is very sweet and can be ground into flour for flat cakes
Cattail: grows along the shores of lakes and rivers or in marshes, grows 3 to 9 feet tall, consists of tall sword-like grass leaves, flower resembles a brown cylinder with a yellow spike on top, peeled stem can be eaten raw or cooked and tastes a bit like cucumber, flower can be baked and eaten or pounded into flour, grass portion is frequently used for weaving, fluffy seeds can be used as insulation in coats
(no photo available)

Feverease (unique, no photo): a high meadow flowering plant, similar to peonies, has large fragrant blooms that are red-violet in color, has broad heart-shaped leaves, flowers are poisonous, leaves are gathered and dried in spring before the flower buds have bloomed then steeped or brewed into a strong analgesic, produces powerful fever-reducer, somewhat narcotic, can be used as a minor pain-reducer as well similar to laudanum but causes reduced motor-control and powerful dreams

Fireweed: grows in meadows or clearings especially in burned out areas, Grows 3 to 7 feet tall, has a long straight stalk with thin pointy leaves, flowers sprout along the top of the stalk and are bright pink in color, young shoots can be eaten but get bitter as they age, a peeled stalk can be placed on a cut or sore to draw out pus, honey produced from these flowers is exceptionally sweet
Oniongrass (wild onion): a bulb plant, has slender grass-like leaves, white flower blooms atop a thin central stalk, flower turns into a cluster of mini bulbs which fall to the ground and sprout anew, even the leaves carry a strong odor, bulb can be eaten raw or cooked, can be used to flavor food
Rattlesnake root (wild carrot): has a cluster of stems with small heart shaped leaves with rough edges that show above ground, root is white and shaped like a rattlesnake tail, grows on dry ground, root is edible
Smokeweed (wild cannabis): grows 1 to 2 feet tall, leaves are thin with jagged edges and grows in clusters of nine, breathing in smoke from burned flower buds or seeds causes feelings of relaxed euphoria and giddiness, can be used as appetite stimulant and mild pain reliever especially for migraine headaches
(no photo available) Whistling Leaves (unique, no photo): small plant found in marshy areas, has wide pointy leaves with slits in them, makes a whistling sound in the wind, chewed leaves cleanse the body of poisons and infections, causes vomiting
Wormgrass (wild mint): small plant with spiky purple flowers and a square stem, has a pleasant odor when crushed, a strong tea can be made from the stem and leaves to expel intestinal parasites, a weak tea will settle an upset stomach

Moss & Lichen

Hairmoss (witches hair lichen): a green grey moss that resembles hair hanging beneath tree branches, moss can be used to stop infections and control bleeding when packed in wounds
(no photo available) Moonmoss ( unique, no photo): a cave moss nurtured by the elves for the weak phosphoric blue glow it releases

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