Name of your plant/reagent:
Deep’s Gleam, a relative of the sea kelp which litters the oceans surrounding the continents. Like Kelp, this deep sea plant is rooted at the ocean floor, but it reaches from there to the surface like an aquatic tree. Oftentimes there will be several growing together in a group, creating a small underwater forest.
Deep’s Gleam has a thick green stalk, usually singular, and as thick as a grown human's arm. It tapers off towards the surface as the stalk becomes thinner, and flows with the currents more easily. Closer to the surface, the stalk shoots off many long leaves that are wide at the base and pointed at the tip. The deeper down from the surface you look, the fewer leaves it has, as it is too dark in the deep to collect any sunlight.
In place of the leaves, in the dark depths, curious bulbs sprout on the stalk. These bulbs are shaped like teardrops, clinging onto the stalk by a single tendril that grew off of it like a shoot. The bulbs themselves are for the most part, transparent, and house inside them a gelatinous sap. The sap is made from any excess energy the leaves capture above, and nutrients that the plant absorbs from the water. This sap however, has other properties as well.
The sap inside the bulbs glow almost as bright as torch-light, brightening up the deep below when several stalks grow close together. This serves as an ecosystem support for the deep ocean, with many smaller sea-floor plant life growing around the stalk where the light is produced. Many small fish will also be attracted to the light, feeding on the small plant-life below, and producing nutrients in the water for the Deep’s Gleam to absorb, and store away. The sap in the bulbs can come in varying shades of Oranges, Greens and Blues naturally.
The bulbs also house the seeds of the plant, and when the time comes for the seeds to be sent off, the bulb will detach. Having stored energy & nutrients in the sap, when the bulb settles on the ocean floor after floating off in the current, the seeds will sprout inside and use those stored nutrients in order to grow a new stalk, from the ocean floor, to the surface. This way, it has the energy needed to reach the surface, where it can then produce its own energy with leaves.
This kelp-like plant often litters the wide area of the oceans surrounding our continents, reaching from the sea floor to the surface of calmer waters. While it inhabits most areas of the ocean, Deep’s Gleam notably does not grow in the oceans of colder zones where there are fewer small creatures living in the deep. Southern areas are the best places to find it reaching up to the surface.
Raw effect(s) of the plant/reagent:
While the stalk and leaves of Deep’s Gleam have little to no special properties, the bulbs themselves house the sap which most are interested in making use of. Raw, the sap of a deep’s gleam bulb even when taken away from its mother plant will soak in energy from the sun’s rays and later dispense that energy in the form of natural glow. The sap itself can be turned into a dye or paint, and applied to various surfaces that can hold dyes, or paints. Considering that the plant and it’s sap isn’t poisonous, it could also be applied to the skin.
Aside from this glow and its various applications, the sap taken from the plant has the function of well processed fertilizer, housing stored energy and nutrients that were meant for its own seeds within. It can be spread in a garden to give plants a natural and healthy boost, great for plants growing in a greenhouse or small garden.
When harvesting Deep’s Gleam bulbs with their sap intact, it is best to use a knife to cut close to the main stem of the plant. The bulb is attached by a small spiral shaped tendril, which also functions as the cap. If someone were to pull on the bulb with force, the cap would release and the sap would dispense from the bulb and into the ocean, alongside the seeds stored inside.
It is quite difficult to ‘farm’ Deep’s Gleam, as in order to do so, it must grow in the ocean, however one could plant more bulbs which would eventually grow into new stalks.. If they can survive diving to the ocean floor and holding their breath for that long.
- Deep’s Gleam is not a poisonous plant, consuming the sap or any part of the plant, while unpleasant in taste, will not sicken or injure you. Though the glowing effect of the sap isn’t always broken down through digestion. [It makes your poop glow, harmless though.]
- While most uses of the sap are safe, and it is not poisonous in most ways, it is not recommended to apply it in its raw state directly into the eyes. It would have a similar effect to staring at the sun for too long, as the light from the sap would be entering the eyes directly. This could lead to damage to the eye resulting in light sensitivity, or dullness of vision.
- Raw Deep’s Gleam sap, when separated from the mother plant, will not glow forever. It needs to store energy from sunlight in order to glow brightly, so letting it [or what it’s been applied to] soak in some sunlight for a short while will keep it ‘charged up’. After an hour or two of direct light, the sap [or what its been applied to] will glow as bright as a torch for at least a few hours, though certainly not all through the entire night.
- Raw Deep Gleam’s sap is only as bright as torchlight, housing more sap inside a container will not increase its brightness, or the longevity of its glow.