Tough Traveling: Unique Flora


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour topic is: Unique Flora

Self-explanatory. If you know of a plant that is either not on earth, or doesn’t act the same way in fantasyland as it does on earth, then you can consider it unique. Have fun.

Wendy’s Picks

miserereMiserere: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock

Remember when Nathan threatened us with carnivorous plants for a Tough Traveling topic?  I had everyone beat thanks to La Dolorosa. It is a beautiful and deadly rose vine that feeds on blood and evil, but might not be so picky when it comes to our protagonists.

The Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Kvothe’s beloved Denna asks him to choose a flower that best represents her. He chooses the selas flower:

“It is a deep red flower that grows on a strong vine. Its leaves are dark and delicate. They grow best in shadowy places, but the flower itself finds stray sunbeams to bloom in. There is much of you that is both shadow and light. It grows in deep forests and is rare because only skilled folk can tend one without harming it. It has a wonderous smell and is much sought and seldom found.”

the hundred thousand kingdomsThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

“There is a rose that is famous in High North. […] It is called the altarskirt rose. Not only do its petals unfold in a radiance of pearled white, but frequently it grows an incomplete secondary flower about the base of its stem. […] The secondary flower saps nutrients crucial for the plant’s fertility. Seeds are rare, and for every one which grows into a perfect altarskirt, ten others become plants that must be destroyed for their hideousness.”

Such is the way of the Arameri, those who rule the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms from the Sky, and wield the power of the gods.

Tiara’s Picks

Rocketship_TreeSaga by Brian K. Vaughan

The Rocket Ship from the comic Saga is a huge tree in what was once called Rocket Tree Forest. Marko and Alana, while searching for ways to escape a planet, took this gift, given they had no ship and were basically on foot. This opportunity presented itself. It minds me very much of Niven’s Stage Tree which acts as a rocket ship and spreads seeds to create more.


Guild Wars 2 by Various

The Sylvari from the Guild Wars 2 games and books are a humanoid race of beings birthed from the pods of a “dreaming tree,” which imparts them some wisdon through dreams. They are fully grown at birth, and a fairly new race so they can be treated a little warily by other races at times. They don’t have to sexually reproduce, so much of their ideas about love aren’t tainted by the other races’ feelings about things like homosexuality and mating.  While they certainly present a frail picture, they are formidable magicians, warriors, and rogues.

colorThe Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

I know I used this book in enforcers with Luggage, but I had to  use it again twice for this one. The Re-annual Plant is an unusual flora that exists in Discworld. When a farmer plants a reannural this year, it’s harvested last year. So, there’s a fairly complicated system involved, but the trees are very magical in natural. Because they’ve already lived through things, they have psychic properties.

Sapient Pearwood is my second pick also from the discworld series. It’s what Luggage, my enforcer pick, is made from.

LuggageSapient Pearwood is a tree that is magical tree that almost instinct in Discworld, but grows where there is large amounts of untapped magic. Many magicians wands are made from it. Sapient Pearwood is protective of its owners, very protective of its owners. It’s also Tardis like in nature where you might see it’s teeth or tongue or you might see gold (usually to trap people) or find other things of use inside it.

PoAHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

The Whomping Willow has been mentioned or part of all the Harry books, but since my video clips comes from Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ll use its title. I’m sure many people are going to pick this, but I love The Whomping Willow. It’s a violent magical plant that whomps anything that comes its way as Harry and the gang find out.

FarscapeThe Fascape Universe by Various

The Delvian are another group of humanoid plants from the Farscape universe.  Because they are plants they experience something called photogasm  which is  when certain lights, including, sunlight,  cause a more enlightened, sexual verions of the the human orgasm. They are in unique in that if they go into a starvation mode, their bodies begin to produce buds that causes severe allergic reactions in animals so they can eat.  They don’t have to have meat for a normal diet, even though they can eat it, but if faced with starving, their bodies compensate. They’re a very unique, beautiful people.


Mass Effect by Various

The Thorian from the Mass Effect books and series is a sentient plant that is thousands of years old. The Thorian is telepathic as well as able to control the minds of other sentient beings. It allows its thralls to live out relatively normal lives until it needs it for a task, and it’s even believe they absorb some of its thralls to gain its history, memory, and knowledge. The Thorian claims to have no interest in what it sees as “meat bags” only meant for food in the end. Despite it all, the Thorian is relatively good to its thrall, and their hive mind effect does comes to the rescue in later games.

Mogsy’s Picks:

Wow, looks like my co-bloggers have it covered this week. Seriously, I got nothing that they haven’t listed already. Except maybe…

The Mirror EmpireThe Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

The world building was pretty cool in this book, though watch your step closely because we’re talking a place rife with semi-sentient trees and another plants that will eat you at every turn. And Wendy thought she had the monopoly on carnivorous plants this week, bwahaha!

Fire FlowerSuper Mario Brothers

Hey, Nathan used Yoshi in his list for “Beloved Mounts” a couple weeks back, okay? Surely I can use the Fire Flower for this week!

30 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Unique Flora”

    • The whole idea of the Reannuals when I first read about them in The Color of Magic had me mindblown, but I was thinking, “That is so brilliant!” I love Pratchett’s imagination. I’m glad that I’m finally experiencing his books.


  1. La Dolorosa, eh? I really need to get around to reading Miserere. Really disappointed in myself with missing the trees of The Mirror Empire, though. Ouch.


  2. Ha ha, I love that you included the Fire Flower from Super Mario Brothers. XD

    The only unique flora I can think of seabane (a pregnancy-preventing herb) from Kristin Cashore’s Graceling novels, and… Gah, I can’t remember the name of it, but there’s a plant that Yelena Zaltana tracks down in SHADOW STUDY that she thinks might help unblock her magic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were part of the inspiration for me remembering them! So think of it as me picking them for you in spirit and solidarity!


    • I try to include gaming and television series things that also have novels/comics, so I can say that I “technically” still used things you can find in a book. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the Whomping Willow is the most popular this week. 🙂
    And that quote about the selas flower had me melting all over again! Kvothe has a way with words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the Whomping Willow. I knew tons of people were probably going to use it, but it’s my favorite. I couldn’t leave it out. LOL


  4. The Fire Flower totally counts! You three got loads this week!! LOADS!
    I think we’ll have to do this one again though. Sorry, but there’s just no way that I missed Groot and the Whomping Willow.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would have been far worse if we used our combined Bioware gaming garden knowledge (where the Thorian comes from) and named plants from them. This thing would’ve been ridiculously long. LOL.


  5. Ahaha how did I forget the Thorian??!

    “So all we have to do is find this Thorian thing and…. woah.”
    “We are gonna need bigger guns.”


  6. Could not think of the name of La Dolorosa to save my life. But I knew you would get it.

    And I believe that back then I threatened BENEVOLENT Carnivorous plants. So I made things easier.


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