Giant Gazebulb

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The two types of reproductive structures.

The harsh environment and rising biodiversity on Ovi spelled trouble for the primitive crystal gazebo, calling for new developments to be made. Over the course of millions of years, they became taller and more suited to their environment. One outcome of this was the giant gazebulb. This strange flora is tall and sturdy, making it resilient against the elements and other organisms alike. It has outcompeted its ancestor on the subtropical beach, but because of its range not extending all the way down Ovi's tropical beaches, there are still crystal gazebos there to the south.

A noticeable characteristic of the gazebulb is its whitish appearance. It gets this color from betulin and calcium phosphates that are deposited in its mineralized shell. This helps to reflect sunlight back onto its crystals, allowing it to absorb far more light than it would otherwise. Its long crystals also give it a larger surface area with which it can photosynthesize. Its growth has also undergone a strange modification that allows it to grow outwards as well as upwards. It starts growing the same way as a normal gazebo, but as it pushes roots out of the ground its roof will also keep growing. It inflates into a rounded dome-like structure, and its perimeter slowly expands. This causes the older, higher portions of the leg-roots to be pushed outwards, but keeps the new leg-root growth in the same place. This happens slowly enough to only be slightly noticeable in young individuals, but very old individuals can get broad, mushroom-like caps.

Its reproduction has also undergone significant changes. The tiny pores that used to produce the gametes and zygote spores have migrated and changed to become a new sort of organ. Gazebulbs are dioecious, meaning that a whole individual is either male or female. Both sexes produce puffball-like reproductive structures on the perimeter of their roof, but these have a different function depending on the sex of the flora. Male reproductive structures consist of a dark reddish globe that becomes drier and hollows out over time, but stays relatively the same shape. This structure contains gamete-filled spores that are released when the structure is destroyed, i.e. by a slight breeze. Female reproductive structures, on the other hand, start out slightly elongated and have many pores that give it a high surface area. This structure can be roughly compared to a strawberry in shape. When this structure is fertilized by male gamete spores, it will transform into a pale brown structure similar to that of the males, except that it is filled with zygote spores. This structure is similarly very fragile, and can be deformed or ripped open by wind. These spores are the ones that will become new gazebulbs, and are very light and hardy.