Windoweeds

From 2speccers2tools wiki

This floral genus is another fascinating example of the unique assemblage of glass flora on Oofle, made most notable by a simple-yet-significant mutation - instead of growing from a “bottom” marginal face, roots are derived from one of its wider faces, giving the appearance of a horizontally-aligned glassy pane lying on a flat surface.

Being simple, moss-grade flora, Windoweeds can be found growing over any suitable surface, from silicate stone, to the bark of towering piss trees. In the case of epiphytic Windoweed species, their clusters often give the admittedly hilarious image of irregularly placed, miniature rectangular windows (hence the name) on a brutalist-modernist skyscraper fitted with garish golden-ochre paint (actually the trunk of a tree). As diazotrophs, they can sequester nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, and thus can survive in far poorer conditions than most other Ooflian flora. As they break down geological surfaces with their rhizoids and incorporate the nutrients released, Windoweeds can be considered as pioneer flora, helping to acclimate the developing soil for more demanding flora to settle in. Aside from a handful of specialized species of Snuffler and “Insect”, the sturdy silicate that composes Windoweed panes is sufficient in shielding against predation; for now, anyways.

Windoweeds are rather diverse, with species numbering in the dozens and are difficult to distinguish from one another. Species found in the cold south of Oofle tend to sport a somewhat dome-like shape to their panes to retain heat. With a sturdy, flattened form, groundcover Windoweeds are notably less prone to fracture by passing fauna underfoot. Some epiphytic species may negligibly derive nutrients from the dead bark of their hosts. Compared to the Glasses-on-a-Stick, these flora are slightly less hardy in the face of limited moisture. As glassflora, Windoweeds are at their most numerous in environments containing considerable silicate content.

Perhaps the prime driver for the Windoweeds’ diversity is their access to sexual reproduction; by mixing and transferring genetic material, the genus can ensure a healthy genetic variety and facilitate the spread of beneficial traits. Like the related Glasses-on-a-Stick, these glassflora produce windborne gametes and spores expelled from sporangia; but unlike their vascular cousins, the sporangia are located under each of of an individual’s four pane margins, not hoisted by a stem. Aside from this, Windoweeds can also bud clones via runner-like rhizoids, allowing them to easily carpet surfaces. Unique to all glassflora, Windoweeds can manufacture sugars via a photosynthetic compound known as invisibilin, giving their panes their distinct transparency.