Medamaude Gnarlpalm

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In response to the general lack of competition in its habitat, the medamaude gnarlpalm evolved a unique adaptation. It has developed a hand-like shape, with five branches surrounding the main bud. The amount of buds from which new branches will grow has been reduced to one large bud in the center of its 'hand'. As a medamaude gnarlpalm ages, it undergoes an annual cycle of growth. Every second spring, the 'finger' branches will fall off one at a time, with the new stalk and branches bursting out of the bud once all the 'fingers' have dropped and growing to full size within five months. The medamaude gnarlpalm grows two feet a year this way, with growth rings being visible all the way up the trunk in particularly old individuals.

The large main bud up close.

Every first winter, it goes into a dormant state, with the compounds its outer cells produced to slow freezing being converted into a natural antifreeze. The lignin and vasular tissue in its flesh have become more complex to allow greater durability, which is partly how it manages to grow so tall. Each 'finger' branch splits into two to three new branches, with each main branch evenly spread out.

Aside from these various adaptations, the medamaude gnarlpalm is much like its ancestor in terms of reproduction. During the summer season, its 'thumb' and 'pinkie' branches develop zoospore bulbs on their undersides, with zoospores being swept away by rain and wind. Once the zoospores reach other bulbs, they turn the bulb into a gametophyte bulb, with the male gametes swimming away to find female gametes. When they meet, they produce zygotes and turn female bulbs into zygote bulbs. The bulbs release zygotes the next time it rains, with said zygotes growing to become new medamaude gnarlpalms.