Muckroot Beardnom

While the waterways of Dingus boast the greatest diversity of freshwater biota on 2s2tworld, it wouldn't take long for the riverine systems of the other landmasses to follow suit; slowly but surely, these two will host their own, unique assemblages of freshwater life. This is especially true on Dingus’s neighboring landmass - Kamm.

Like the Drenchnom it parallels, the Muckroot Beardnom is well adapted for life in waterlogged soils. When much of the flora is submerged, the fibrous outer coating of the stem provides a notable benefit in that it facilitates the diffusion of oxygen into its bodily systems; while normally hung close to the stem as a dense coat, nodules near its base are held by the rising water, providing an additional vector for oxygen to enter the flora - useful for an organism living so close to such oxygen-poor waters.

The roots of which this flora is named for are quite sturdy, affixing tightly to the soil to resist some rapid flooding. As riverine soils are typically poor in nitrogenous compounds, the Muckroot Beardnom’s roots contain various cultures of Nitropellet species within swollen nodules, aiding in sequestering as much nitrogen from the soil as possible.

As a deciduous flora, southern populations of the Muckroot Beardnom respond to winter by seasonally shedding their fronds. By autumn, its fronds take on an accessory pigment-based mauve coloration to prepare the last sugars for storage; as winter approaches ever closer, this mauve in turn becomes pale taupe - completely halting photosynthesis until next spring. Older fronds are gradually killed off and inevitably shed, while newer fronds emerge from the flora’s apex in whorls. With descendant mamals having atrophied their death lasers to varying degrees, this flora’s fronds contain very little lead, if at all.

Akin to other nomherbs, the Muckroot Beardnom reproduces via sending out windborne gametes via an elongate sporophore, conjugating with a receptive sporophore to form a zygote spore. With hope, the spore will settle on a patch of riparian soil far from its parents.

Notably, its presence contributes significantly to the overall stability of the nearby river system, as its expansive, sturdy roots hold down the riparian soil as to prevent the river from eroding it too sudden. Even dead parts of the Muckroot Beardnom bolster the health of nearby river communities; should its dead fronds be deposited into the waters, these will decompose, and precious nutrients will be added back to the environment for newcoming biota to nourish on.