Emerald Column

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The emerald column descended from an aberrant species of large emerald crystal, which found a relative lack of large herbivores in the steppes of eastern Barlowe. Here, they grew to quadruple the size of the largest extant species of emerald crystal, and in some places to be the largest flora in the region.

The emerald column, being as large as it is, faced problems being supported mostly by a chitinous shell. A new structure has developed within the organism, derived from the fungus-like tissue closest to the edge of the organism. Six cartilage-like rods on the inside of the crystal run up its six vertical edges. While this tissue does make the overall structure of the organism a little stronger, it has mostly lost any sort of digestive or storage role that it once had.

Emerald columns thrive the best in open plains areas, away from each other and any other tall flora. While they do have a higher tolerance for these conditions, they are highly adaptable, and their growth is highly sensitive to initial conditions. 1.2 meters is just their average height; they grow noticeably shorter in dark areas and can get much taller in bright ones. Their color also corresponds to this, with individuals in forested areas appearing darker and more vivid. The only thing that seems consistent is their odd patterning, a feature that can assist in helping it photosynthesize in the right areas but is mostly the result of genetic drift.

The root networks of emerald columns can be quite massive, and individual reproductive roots can span long distances. They are almost entirely reliant on having their roots make physical contact, with fertilization by a meandering spore being a rare fluke. While they still reproduce asexually, they do so farther away from each other as to avoid competition as much as possible.

Other than this, the emerald column is similar in many ways to its ancestors, other than the adaptations that usually come with larger size in flora. They are hexagonal prism-shaped flora with a chitinous exterior that reproduce via spores released from the roots.