Plant Life of Athas
As the name suggests, this is a compilation of types of plants found on Athas. This resource gives descriptions of various plants: trees, cash crops, and even dangerous, carnivorous plants. Geographical locations where the plants grow are given as well as any other relevant information on the plant.
Originally posted by Tom Slattery on The Unofficial Dark Sun Pages(Web Archive)
Agafari Tree - A tree of the Crescent Forest, agafari wood is extremely hard and is the next best thing to metal. The wood is used to make weapons and shields and is a major trade good of Nibenay. The tree's bark has a bluish tint. At the top of the tree, which can be over 100 feet tall, the boughs spread out in great, sweeping fans. The enormous heart-shaped leaves are the color of turquoise. These large trees can actually be hollowed out without killing the tree.
Arrow Weed - This plant grows in quiver-like clusters of canes. The yellow stalks of the plant are lined with razor-sharp edges. If the stems are broken, they emit a tangy, foul-smelling odor.
Berril - A blue-green moss that often covers the floor of forests. When dried it is edible and tastes like dried tea leaves.
Bloodgrass - Appears as a normal patch of green grass, but has longer tendrils than normal grass. It sends out runners among normal grasses. Bloodgrass is a bloodsucking plant and attacks anything stepping on it by wrapping one or more tendrils around its victim and sucking out its blood.
Bloodvine - A parasitic plant, the bloodvine lives on the bark of the agafari tree. It is found only in the Crescent Forest. At night, the vines (which are attracted to warmth) will slowly approach an unsuspecting victim, wrapping around it and injecting roots into the target. The roots are covered in an anesthetic sap so the victim will feel no pain. The plant then begins to drain the victim's blood.
Blossomkiller - A carnivorous plant of the forests and jungles. A single plant occupies up to a 45 foot radius, consisting of its stalk, roots, tendrils, and flowers. Tendrils branch out from the roots, forming a network of trip wires. When a victim steps on any of the roots, the flowers shoot a spray of quills in all directions, the quills carrying a paralysis poison.
Bogo Tree - A gnarled tree found around the Pristine Tower. Although the tree itself is harmless, one must be careful when passing below it; snakelike beasts often dwell in the burled limbs, swinging down in an attempt to impale unwary victims on the barbed spines which cover their bodies.
Brain Seed - A rare and cunning plant with strong psionic abilities, the brain seed has a deep-seated hatred for wizards, especially defilers. It is a large sentient plant with purpled hued stalks and white and yellow flowers which are always in bloom. The center stalk has a large bulb in which the brain is located and the mouth is at the top end of the stalk.
Bramble Tree - A cultivated form of brambleweed in which the grower constantly cuts the top off of a vertically planted section of brambleweed, forcing it to grown a new outer layer to survive. When it reaches the desired thickness, it is allowed to grow. Constant trimming and attention keep it growing as desired.
Brambleweed - A vine that grows as a thick, twisted, tangled mass of thorny brown-grey vines. There are no leaves, the stem is actually the photosynthetic part of the plant. As it grows, the older part of the vine hardens from lack of moisture. In this way, it creates its own trellis as it grows. Although hardened, the older part remains tough, providing deadly defense for the newer shoots.
Broomgrass - A silver-green grass that fills the great expanses of field surrounding the Pristine Tower.
Bulis - The bulis berry has a hairy, thick brown skin that makes it difficult to peel. The small sweet purple center can be consumed or made into wine. The plentiful wine has a sickeningly sweet flavor and is often mixed with water. Great quantities of this beverage are consumed in Tyr.
Burnflower - A hearty plant with highly shiny leaves that reflect sunlight into deadly beams of energy. They appear as a patch of grey-green vines with closed bulb-shaped flowers. If the flowers are opened, they are found to be coated with a clear, sticky sap. It has a nasty, bitter taste and is neither edible nor poisonous.
Cabra Melon - The fruit of this melon plant is thick-husked and full of succulent meat.
Cachava Plant - Singing Sticks are often carved from the straight, springy wood of this plant. Though light and extremely flexible, the wood is nearly impossible to break.
Chiffon Tree - This tree of the Tyr region has a puffy crown of golden leaves. Its blossoms are green and give off a scent of honey.
Cotton - Much of the fabric produced in Tyr uses cotton raised on the plantations outside of the city. Athasian cotton does not require much water and is a very hardy crop. Its main drawback is the backbreaking labor required to harvest it.
Dew Fronds - A jungle plant, dew fronds easily blend in with the surrounding foliage. When newly grown, the frond is three to five feet long and is a yellowish-tan color. The plant lives off of the blood of its victims. As it feeds on more blood, it grows.
Esperweed - A rare plant found only in the few tropical areas of Athas and on the mudflats near the Sea of Silt. It is a flowering plant that grows up to three feet tall. The stalk is brownish-green, but turns bright green where it nears its leaves and flowers. The oval-shaped leaves are 3 to 4 inches long. The flowers have 6 petals, each nearly 6 inches long. In the center of the flower is a small circular stamen colored bright red. The petals are red at the base, fading to reddish-orange at the outer edge. The roots are highly sought after for their psionic-boosting abilities. However, using it too much can be detrimental.
Fanna Tree - A tall thin tree with a dense network of branches and leaves only at the very top to catch the sunlight The leaves are narrow even when open, and fold to thin slivers in the heat of midday. This tree is very common in the Crescent Forest though it is present in other places as well.
Faro - A twisted cactus grown as a cash crop by many of Tyr's nobles, faro grows as tall as a man, with a handful of scaly stems that rise into a tangled crown of needle-covered boughs. Faro trees blossom once a decade. Each piece of the sweet delicious fruit is worth as much as the tree itself. The faro needles can be harvested several times every year, and command a high price per bushel. The needles can be ground into a fine, nutritious flour that is often used in baking.
Firegrass - This is the grass which covers the Burning Plains in the Last Sea region. It grows more than a foot of a day and wildfires are sweep quite frequently through the plains. Travelers can easily be killed when caught in a wildfire.
Geja - This plant produces a soft-skinned fruit. The fruit, although sweet and delicate, is ripe for only a few days a year and often is eaten by insects.
Giant Sundew - While appearing to be a pile of ropes covered in gray-green tar, the giant sundew is actually a plant that can cast its tendrils several feet, burning the unfortunate victim with its acidic touch.
Grall - A squat thorny cactus that does best in rocky areas, grall is harvested for its fruit. It produces 2-3 bulbous fruit per plant every three months. These fruit can be eaten raw (they have a strong bitter taste), but more often they are fermented for use in a strong local brew, "cactus blue" ale.
Kuzza Pepper Plant - Kuzza peppers, harvested from this plant, are extremely hot. They are often dried and ground into powder that can be blown into a gladiator's opponent during an arena battle.
Hunting Cactus - This type of cactus has a pale green color and stands about 3 feet high. They have a number of oval-shaped pods attached to the main trunk. They rely on their psionic abilities to detect prey. When prey is nearby, they attack by shooting spines into the victim, tipped with nerve poison. It then moves to the fallen victim and inserts a feeding spine.
Neep - A thick-rooted vegetable that grows underground. The orange colored neep has a bland flavor and is often prepared mixed with other food rather than eaten alone. The sparse, hairy leaves that sprout above ground can be used as fodder.
N'ku'ru'ma - A waist tall mallow plant that produces mucilaginous green pods. The finger sized pods are protected by short, fine needles that must be removed before preparation. When roasted over an open fire, the pods take on a slightly sweet flavor.
Oleracea - A succulent leaf plant that is a staple vegetable in the region. The dull yellow, finely incised leaves grow in a small fan near the ground. Oleracea leaf can be eaten raw or cooked with meals. The leaf is nutritious but flavorless.
Pagafa Tree - A reasonably tall tree with large fronds, found in various areas of the Tyr region.
Palm Trees - Near the Last Sea, palm trees grow alongside various other tropical plants.
Poisonweed - Poisonweed is found in the forests of Athas. Along the roots of this weed grow large beautiful flowers with bright orange petals and light-green leaves. The flowers are 4-6 inches in diameter and hard to miss. Up to 30 flowers will be on a plant, spread over a 20 foot radius. At the center of each flower is a poison sac. When a person touches or brushed up against a flower, a cloud of poison is released, affecting everyone within 15 feet of the plant. The poison makes them instantly fall asleep. Then the plant wraps them in its tendrils and digests them with a corrosive enzyme.
Prentel Plant - A plant of the Mekillot Mountains, the prentel plant bears bright red berries. These berries taste sweet, but induce illness and often even death.
Prickly Pear, Athasian - A form of prickly pear cactus which grows in the mekillot mountains.
Red Cactus - Red cactus is a round succulent plant known for its spiny red thorns. A type of grub makes its home inside the cactus. When a red cactus is cut open, anywhere from about one dozen to three dozen grubs will generally be found inside. The white, scaly, brown-headed grubs are quite tasty.
Rice, Athasian - Athasian rice requires much less water to grow than does normal rice. It is one of the major trade goods of Nibenay as well as the staple of the Nibenese diet.
Rock Cactus - A small spherical plant, found anywhere water is not plentiful. Generally brown, they darken to black as their amount of water stored increases. During spring and summer, rock cacti produce a bright yellow flower, but it only lasts a few hours. The rest of the year, the rock cacti appear to be roughly spherical rocks, about 1 foot in diameter. When attempting to capture prey, they wait until prey is within a few feet, then quickly extend 2-5 spines.
Rock-Holly - This plant grows in boulder sized clumps. It is found outside of Nibenay, often scattered throughout the acres of endless sandgrass.
Rockstem - This Blue Age plant grew in the great oceans of Athas. Hard as a rock and sharp as obsidian, the plant grew in large fingerlike formations. The plants have a variety of bright hues and were used by the halfling nature masters of that time to shape their homes.
Saedra Trees - Slender, long-needled conifers, saedra trees have upraised boughs that resemble the arms of a sun-worshipping dwarf.
Sandgrass - Tall, silver-colored grass found on the outskirts of Nibenay.
Sand Cactus - A vile cacti that dwells anywhere there is sand. The entire plant, except for the needles, is hidden beneath the sand. The body is 5-8 feet across and about 4 feet thick. Its many barbed needles are attached to it with long, fibrous strands. The bulbous body and the strands are sickly white, while the needles closely resemble the sand in the area. It attacks by drawing out the blood of a victim unlucky enough to step on the spines.
Scuppernong - The silver scuppernong is a hearty, rough-skinned berry that grows on small scrubby bushes. The berry is eaten alone or fermented to produce a silver colored wine. Though beautiful in appearance, the wine tends to be thick and slightly bitter. The full body of the liquor makes it a favorite among elves.
Silverknife - A serrated-leaf bush that is common to the badlands all over the Tyr region.
Siltflower - The pollen of the siltflower is extremely irritating. It can be gathered and used in the same manner as kuzza pepper.
Spider Cactus - The spider cactus looks like any other patch of harmless cacti until the victim is showered by needles. The victim is then dragged to the cactus, where the feeding needles make a slow feast of the victim. The spider cactus has a barrel-shaped body that is 2 to 3 feet across and from 6 to 7 feet tall. It is bright green in color, with streaks of white along the barrel. The needles are purple and green.
Stinkweed - As the name implies, stinkweed produces a nauseating odor. It can be dried and is often used like kuzza pepper to gain the upper hand in an arena battle.
Strangling Vines - Roughly 25 feet long, strangling vines stretch between three or four trees. The vines have about ten leaves per five foot section, concealing sharp thorns. The vine itself is brownish-green, while the leaves are a shiny, deep, mossy green. When a victim passes underneath, the vines suddenly drop down and strangle the victim.
Tamarisk - A plant with blood-colored blossoms, deadly scions of the foilage that once blanketed the land.
Timiris - A plant that appears as a set of thorny bushes surrounding a 30-yard diameter silvery pool (it resembles a pool of water), found in sandy wastes. The bushes have a drab, gray-pink tinge to them. The thorns themselves are each about an inch and a half long and barbed. If one is broken off, one can discover a small, hollow passage inside it, with a tiny hole at the end. It is not poisonous. A well-lit study of the ground around the cactus reveals bones scattered throughout it. The bushes grow directly out of the "pool" in the center of the thicket. It is impossible to reach the pool without going through the thicket--even by flying above it. On one side of the thicket is a narrow, three-foot tunnel leading toward the center. Once victims pass the halfway point, the thorny bushes rapidly constrict them. The thorns dig into the victim and the timiris sucks their blood. If they escape, the thorns continue to suck blood until they are dug out of the skin.
Variegated Desert Agave - A large tree, 6' tall and twice as wide, with curved, spiked leaves striped in blue and yellow.
Wanderer's Staff - Thorny, gray-yellow bushes found in the foothills of the Windbreak mountains as well as similar terrains.
Welela - The plants produce a long, thin, prickly gourd whose meat is flavorful and contains quite a bit of water. They can be found in the Crescent Forest and are also cultivated outside of Gulg.
Weeping Desert Acacia - A desert plant with yellow puffball blooms which attract hummingbirds.
Yypr Tree - Tall conifers with hard, flat needles that can be boiled to make a refreshing tea.
Zaal Tree - These trees have barren trunks and fanlike crowns made up of large fronds.
Zombie Plant - A semi-intelligent shrub that produces highly nutritious berries. Anyone eating the berries has a chance of becoming a slave of the plant, existing only to serve and protect it. The plant resembles a healthy berry bush, with thick foliage. It bears fruit throughout the year; the berries are red and grow in twos and threes like cherries do. The plant also has a clean, healthy scent which is aided by its psionic power of attraction.