Wednesday, January 28, 2009

R. candelabrum

A close relative of the Corpse flower, the jungle-dwelling Anajamut tinkar consists (like others of its family) of a stemless, parasitic bloom, lacking roots of its own but subsistent on those of a lignified vine (the host in this case being the TAJAMUNUGU GRAPE, source of most Coelobonese wine). Its name in Sulepawak means “dead dog’s ears,” as its fleshy petals (each up to half a yard long) taper into points. (See COELOBONESE TOY BOXER.) While it gives off the same carrion odor as its relatives, this is often abated by another benign parasite: the Uburutan or Land jelly (P. terrestris), a coelenterate that, true to its name, is typically found out of water — albeit in very damp conditions. Its ideal resting place is the central cup of an Anajamut tinkar blossom, around which its wispy, barely visible tentacles can droop, ready to trap and devour INDOMALAYAN BUZZARD MIDGES (harmful to the flower) by stinging them with chemicals that, on contact with the plant’s flesh, will reduce its noxious odor. While the quelled stench might dissuade humans from destroying the flower, it remains perceptible to needed pollinators such as CARBUNCLE SCARABS and their larvae — which the Uburutan spares.

On account of this union, an Anajamut tinkar can last longer than others of its kind, living up to a fortnight. Once every five days, however, the flower is compelled to close, which can smother and possibly kill a tenant jelly.

The Uburutan’s float bladder, though small and vestigial, is like its cousin the BOLERTANKULAK’s in that its gasses ignite upon death, sputtering flames for a minute or more. On occasion, a blossom will open to reveal a dead Uburutan in mid-blaze. Natives interpret this sight as the birth of an Uborlepoluk (a folkloric creature; see index) and auspicious for those who witness it, despite the newborn’s wicked nature.

From: H. Viveam Constanelle, Known Wildlife of Sulepawak: A Field Guide. Mandaroeb & Sons, 1955: p. 115.