Womboo

From 2speccers2tools wiki

As the ecologies of Kamm’s watersheds mature, more and more organisms start gaining footholds there. While currently sparse in diversity, this state is never meant to last, especially not with such abundant access to and bolstering cycling of nutrients. Among these new arrivals is an offshoot of some vagrant Hairy-Rooted Kammreeds; as successive generations acclimated further to riverine conditions, changes would accumulate so much that a new species would split - the Womboo.

Compared to the ancestral Hairy-Rooted Kammreed, the Womboo is rather divergent in morphology. Whorls, instead of growing upwards in tight clusters, preferably grow outwards and are distanced along its sturdy-yet-flexible stem, maximizing sunlight exposure in its riverine habitat. With the reduced access to lead in Kamm’s waterways and lessened pressure to acquire the compound to protect against radiation, the flora’s stem and petioles alike lack it entirely, relying instead on cellulose to maintain structure. Surrounding the base of the stem is a ring of exposed roots; lined with fine, hair-like projections, these facilitate the diffusion of oxygen into the flora’s systems along with spiracles on its fronds. The actual transfer of gases is made all the more easier thanks to a system of aerenchyma, similar to that of Earth’s Nuphar lutea. Having descended from brackish flora, the vacuoles in the Womboo’s cells have reduced water capacity as to maintain osmotic equilibrium in waters where salt is much less abundant.

The Womboo is an evercyan nomherb, retaining its vivid cerulean coloration year-round. With the onset of summer, the flora sends out a sporophore from its surface whorl, casting gametes and zygote spores into the environment. Fertile spores would eventually settle into the water and onto the substrate, developing into a new Womboo. Depending on access to resources, new flora can grow quite fast, growing to mature height in a single month’s time.

As autumn gives way to winter, the Womboo sheds its sporophore and begins to transition into a state of dormancy - stocking up a larder of sugars in its roots and manufacturing antifreeze compounds to weather the weather worth weathering. With the thaw of spring, photosynthetic functions resume and a new sporophore begins to grow.

As a riparian flora, the Womboo fares well in oxygen poor soils. Although it prefers to grow where there’s a consistent flow of water, stands can be found in comparatively laxer lake water to some considerable density. It also grows most readily in waters up to 1.5 meters in depth.

It is important to note that, despite sharing a similar name with the Nomboo, the Womboo isn't more closely related to it than it is to any other nomherb not descended from the Saltynom.