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ID: 3659


March 23, 2007, 1:33 pm

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Cheka Man

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Giant Foxglove


While one cannot deny the beauty of the Giant Foxglove, it is tempered by the knowlage that the beauty hides its deadly nature.

Full Description

Giant foxglove appears as a rather large variety of the common foxglove.  The plant consists of one or more tall (10’) green spires covered with hundreds of bell-like flowers.  Color ranges from white or pink, to deep purple. Unlike its mundane ancestor, it prefers full sun and is effectively a perennial. This plant has a magical (Or in sci-fi settings, Genetically Modified) origin and is not found naturally.

Additional Information

Two things that make the Giant foxglove dangerous are that it is loaded with a variant of Digitalis, a very potent heart stimulant, and that it’s copious pollen is similarly loaded with the chemical.

The concentration of the chemical is high enough in the pollen to quickly cause cardiac arrest in anyone unfortunate enough to inhale signficant quantities of the pollen. Lesser effects are dizziness, blurry vision and weakness.

Generally the pollen will stay in the thousands of flowers that typify the foxglove, but if it is significantly disturbed, the pollen becomes airborne and a large toxic (to mammals) cloud will surround the plant.

The Giant Foxglove is not a natural plant, but is the results of controlled mutations of the existing common foxglove.

It is generally used as a passive defence of an area - while in bloom (a significant part of the year, as different spires and plants bloom at different times) it is very dangerous to be around.  Planted thickly, it poses a serious obstacle to be bypassed.  Even standing downwind of such a planting is dangerous, as a strong breeze could disturb the plant and release the pollen.



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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

February 14, 2007, 11:14
Will be used in a larger submission soon...
Voted Murometz
February 14, 2007, 11:16
Could see these beauties adorning the stone cottage of the mysterious Firbolg hermit, entwining the walls like ivy, bells swaying in unison from the slightest breeze. Inside the humble but sinister abode, the Firbolg alchemist, experiments with pollen.
Voted Cheka Man
February 14, 2007, 15:46
A good defence against burglars.
Voted manfred
February 14, 2007, 16:15
A good defense against most creatures, apparently. It looks interesting, but one piece of information is missing: how can you protect yourself from it?

Hoods and the like should offer sufficient, though not complete protection. As it is magically created, how about a little handy amulet, that repulses the pollen from it's wearer? That way he could roam freely around his lair, and disturb the plants when fleeing from heroes.

This plant will be quickly infamous... "Now, what were the rules for a complete stop of cardiac activity?"
February 14, 2007, 17:30
Okay, I'll address your points and add a correction.

This plant is intended as a deadly magical defence - the main sub that uses it is still under work, but it is supposed to be deadly and difficult to circumvent.

Magical winds, very fine dust masks, poison immunities, etc, are valid defences. Heavy rainfall would mitigate the deadliness as well.

Also, I was deliberately vague on how much pollen would actually cause death so it is easy to allow for lesser effects.

As to effects of Cardiac arrest, it would be equal to a non-magical death spell :)

However, I did make a mistake on this sub, so some magical alteration of the standard Digitalis is needed:

From Textbook of Materia Medica, 5th edition, 1932, page 259

Poisonous Effects

Since Digitalis is slowly absorbed, and excreted still more slowly, it does not cause acute poisonous symptoms.

To achieve the desired level of lethality in line with my intent on this submission, one should instead substitute Cyanide, a much more acutely deadly toxin and one which does occur in many plants. Though I took the easy way out, and just made the toxin a variant of Digitalis.
February 15, 2007, 3:06
You really do your research, val. Kudos for that!
February 14, 2007, 17:56
Updated: Modified sub in response to comments recieved.
Voted Pariah
February 17, 2007, 12:54
So, digitalis is only toxic to mammals? So the local Lizardfolk tribe is fine then?
February 17, 2007, 13:57
Well, this variant is :) Those that created this plant would not want their songbirds and bees killed by it.....
Voted Wulfhere
February 22, 2007, 16:16
While natural foxglove is toxic, the giant variety would have been specifically bred to enhance the toxicity of its pollen. As ingestion of 2 or 3 grams of regular foxglove can be lethal, a plant of this sort is not impossible, even in a real-world setting...

"I hope that you enjoy my little garden, Mr. Bond..."

Symptoms of foxglove poisoning include (flips textbook pages...) vomiting and digestive upset, blood pressure fluctuation, dialated pupils and the appearance of "halos" or "auras" around objects, leading up to convulsions and heart failure.

"Actually, there was Giant Foxglove toxin in both goblets. I have been building up a tolerance to it for some time now." (...Which doesn't really work with this sort of toxin.)
Voted axlerowes
April 7, 2014, 11:16
Nice one, concise and interesting.

You could add a picture...

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