Whip Willow

A breed of plant changeling often found near watering-holes or areas of surface water. Whip willows are tall, slender plants with a central trunk 15-40cm in diameter and 5-9 meters tall. Surrounding the central trunk is a veritable grove of slender wands 2 to 6 meters long that normally stand straight up, swaying slightly in the breeze. These shoots are actually the willow's manipulators, and the thin bladelike leaves sense movement and scents of approaching animals. Whip willows are strangle-hunters - they wait until unwary animals stray too close and then sieze them. Individually the wands aren't very strong, but the willow will lash out with dozens of them, tightening and constricting its prey until it feels all resistance end. The body will be quickly buried amongst the plant's roots, where its decomposition will feed the whip willow.

In seeding-time, which happens irregularly in the spring, adult whip willows stab captured prey-animals with a specialized barb that plants a seed in the prey's body. The wounded animal is then released to carry the seed the willow implanted some distance away before succumbing to the wound. This method of propagating the species ensures that the resulting sapling isn't in direct competition with its parent.

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