Monday, January 18, 2016

Flora et Fauna: Liar's Weed.

Liar's weed looks much like morning glory. Having similar shaped leaves and blossoms, it is a diminutive version of this plant with a bit of a twist for Evandar. Liar's weed is also known as bindweed, because of its propensity for the vines to grow over things and tangle among themselves as it grows. Liar's weed has blossoms that are prolific.

At two centimeters in diameter, the blossoms are not as visually impressive as some other plants that can be found in the regions of Evandar and similar climates. They have an ombre shading with the deepest color at the outermost tips of the petals and the lightest at the center. Most liar's weed has flowers that move from a deep red to an orange that is similar to what is found in tiger lilies. The central stamen of the flower extends a few millimeters beyond the edges of the blossom. It is white and the pollen is also white. The leaves are heart shaped and are a dark green. The vine is a green-purple, similar to the stems of chocolate mint. Liar's weed does not have much of a discernible scent.

Pollination of liar's weed is primarily done by bees. It is, oddly, not a flower that is frequented by humming birds. This may be because of the toxicity of the nectar. The blossoms are marginally edible after they have reached peak. They are bitter and if consumed in great quantity will cause one to have problems with diarrhea long before a fatal dosage is ingested. The leaves of liar's weed are toxic to humans but not to ruminant animals. The vines are similar to the leaves, though they are tougher to consume because of their higher fiber content.

The seeds of liar's weed form in pods that have four cells. In each cell, a pea sized seed forms. The seeds are not fatally toxic. When dried and ground to a fine powder, liar's weed can be mixed with alcohol to form a liquid that is functionally a truth serum. The effectiveness of liar's weed as a truth serum is not as effective as the folklore states. The quantity of the concoction that needs to be consumed for liar's weed to be a truth serum on par with what its reputation states is high enough that the person ingesting it will acquire alcohol poisoning. Putting a greater amount of liar's weed powder into the alcohol solution does not result in a stronger effect. Indeed, doing so can make the effects of liar's weed diminish after a saturation point is reached and one runs the risk of poisoning via the seed.

Poisoning by way of liar's weed blossoms before they have reached the stage they can be consumed is a more extreme example of what comes with over consumption when they are edible. Fatal dosage of liar's weed brings on abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and increased blood pressure. It is the increase in blood pressure that causes death. Most often, people who have had a fatal dosage of liar's weed will die from a heart attack. In the rare cases that the sudden increase in heart rate doesn't equate to a fatal situation, the person poisoned will experience a lingering death by way of dehydration and starvation because of the other symptoms.

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