Fern Asterplents

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Fern Asterplents are various asterplents with long, branching, frond-like leaves. They are generally more shade-tolerant than their cousins, the Grassterplents, allowing them to thrive in the shadows of taller flora while Grassterplents rely on open spaces. Their juvenile fronds match the fern shape for the sake of catching wind.

Fern Asterplents are notable in that they got their broad range without being present in hot deserts. They genus simply never produced species capable of surviving in that climate, instead skipping that step entirely through their airborne offspring. Regardless, there are many, many species, though they vary little. Polar species are somewhat stockier, however. All species have the ability to curl up their leaves into fiddlehead-like structures for protection, such as to make them more difficult for predators such as Plentmowers to eat. Species in regions with bitter cold seasons use this ability during the winter to protect their leaves from frost as well. This action is entirely hydraulic and not tied to any musculature. Their colors tend to be lighter closer to the equator, but otherwise distinguishing species is difficult.

Like their ancestor, Fern Asterplents reproduce with airborne spores. Their breeding season is slightly later than that of Grassterplents in the same environment. Their babies’ flight fronds are curled before birth but unfurl as they are launched into the air by the exhale-like birth motion. Babies are somewhat lanky, allowing them to greatly control their height through crouching so that they are not easily blown into the air while trying to eat microbes or detritus off the ground but are picked up when they want to be.