Fermi Helmweed

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Body plans can modify greatly when there is very little competition. Fermi helmweed has made some significant modifications to its body plan. It has developed a large almost hat-shaped structure which composes the perennial portion of the organism. A depression in the center will sprout yearly fronds each spring. These fronds are tipped in small floats which hold them high in the water. To overwinter, its hat stores sugars inside specialized cells in the center of the organism. This repository allows it to survive the winter darkness and fuels growth for the next spring. Its hat is covered in a hard cuticle which inhibits grazing. Its fronds are soft, however, and provide food for soft floral grazers during the growing season.

Fermi helmweed reproduces through metagenesis. Its sporangia are located inside the central depression and produce gametophytes in different places based on sex. Female gametophytes are produced near the center while male gametophytes are produced on the rim, thus giving the male gametes the best position to swim for unrelated female gametes in other Fermi helmweed. Fermi helmweed is native only to Fermi, occupying both polar and temperate coasts in sandy substrates.