is a petite and delicate little plant that has smooth, oval leaves that come to
a point and are colored, like the stems, in a teal-tinted green. Throughout
spring, the Dalferia produce charming little flowers of the brightest hues. Such
flowers are often used to decorate oneís household. In summer, these flowers
become small peapods, each of which contains two peas, called Dalferpeas, which
are edible and sweet. The Dalferia is often associated with
Dalireen, the Hobbit
Deity of Bards and of Childhood Innocence.
Appearance. The Dalferia is a very charming little plant that will usually grow no more than a fore high unless it is given something to climb on, such as a building or a fence. It usually has a strong main stem from with other stems diverge into leaves, flowers, and tendrils. The main stem is commonly brown, given that this main stem is often hidden by the shadows of leaves, and tends to be woody, adding to its strength. The branching stems are not as woody and are not colored in a brown hue, but are actually deep green, sometimes touched with teal, making the plant seem colorful even when they are without flowers. These stems will often further diverge, but the stems will always retain this color, though it may vary in shade. These offshoots of the main, woody stem are flexible.
The leaves of the Dalferia are small and gentle. The larger leaves are about 4 nailsbreadths wide and about 9 from one end to the other. However, those that grow from the smaller branching stems will often be far smaller, usually 1 Ĺ nailsbreadths wide and about 2 Ĺ nailsbreadths long. The shape of the leaves would be described as egg-shaped if the leave did come to a point. These leaves are very delicate looking with their smooth sides and elegant shape. Like the stems, they are a gentle green with often a tint of teal added to their coloring. They glint in the sun, for their surface is smooth. The Dalferia also has many delicate tendrils that reach out from the stems and leaves to catch something nearby on which to climb, such as a fence.
In early spring, the Dalferia will produce beautifully colored flowers, which are primarily what the plant is known for. These flowers are about 4 nailsbreadths from end to end and are each made up of five, broad petals of roughly the same shape as their leaves. In their middle, the stamen of their flower protrudes to delicately finger the wind and to send out yellow pollen from its rounded top. The flower itself can be an array of colors depending on the plant. They are most commonly either a sun kissed yellow-orange, a delicate pink, and bright violet, or brilliant azure. There have been a few cases where two plants of different flower-color were pollinated together and the result was a plant of two flower-colors. The flowers have a delicate scent that is pleasing and fragrant. They are also long lasting, and the plant will continually bloom until the end of spring.
When the summer comes, the Dalferia will shed all its colorful petals such that only the petite sepal is left. By mid and late summer, this sepal will have grown a peapod containing two Dalferpeas. The peapod is roughly 6 nailsbreadths in length. The pod is usually slightly fuzzy and colored a teal-tinted green. This pod protects two peas, which are about 2 Ĺ nailsbreadths in diameter and are a yellowy teal-tinted green. These peas are actually good to eat, and are sometimes harvested in the summer when they are ripe and ready to eat. The peas are often sweet, but are not the most popular given that every pod only contains two peas.
Territory. The Dalferia prefers very mild regions, usually ones that donít experience much of a snowfall, if any snowfall at all, but they have plenty of gentle rain shower. They prefer fertile earth that is kind and soft, but also stay away from muddy and swampy areas. They are also not usually fond of sandy areas, like those around a beach. The spray of salty water can also dehydrate this plant. They do not often mind growing around cities as long as they have kind weather and good place to stick their roots.
Thus, the Daliferia finds its home mainly in plains and hills, or around cities of gentle showers and mild sun. They can be found on the Aurora Plains and the Heath of Jernais. Dalferia are further known to grow in and around Ximax and Rimmerins Ring, as well as in the hilly areas surrounding it. They have been known to grow as far south as the Tolonian Heath as a wild plant, but have been grown in Uderza as well. Dalferia seem to thrive in shires, living well in the Elverground and in the Alianian Hills. Additionally they have even been known to grow around the Silver Shire, though not as well as they grow in other shires.
The Dalferia has also been found growing in the hilly parts of Denilou where hobbits take up residence.
Usages. The flowers of the Dalferia are commonly used to decorate ones house, as their bright colors can certainly make a room more cheery. These flowers will often be placed in vases of colorful design and, if supplied with enough water, can remain fresh looking for at least a few days. They can be used to brighten up the living room or dining room, or simply set in a bedroom to greet the occupants each morning when the sun rises. Even when the flowers begin to die they are still useful, for they can be dried and used to help add fragrance to a room. Some will even press the flowers and frame them or coat them to make them strong before using them as bookmarks.
The Dalferpeas are used in a number of dishes. Though they can be eaten without being cooked, they are often boiled and served as a side dish to a meal. Sometimes they are flavored a bit with butter. They can also be dried and beaten into a powder to be used as a sweet spice for foods. A few recipes have been created to include this sweet pea.
The plant as a whole is often used to decorate the outside of buildings or fences. Because these plants can climb if given that chance, they will delicately embellish the outside of any wall with their bright flowers and gentle leaves.
Reproduction. The Dalferia blooms throughout spring, producing pollen which it releases into the air to help fertilize the plants around it. If another nearby plant doesnít fertilize a flower, the flower can fertilize itself to ensure that it produces Dalferpeas when the spring comes. After the petals fall away in the late spring and early summer, the sepal is then left to eventually produce a peapod by mid to late summer. Within this peapod are two peas. If the pod isnít harvested to eat in mid to late spring, the peapod will drop to the ground.
When the autumn rain comes, the pod will slowly rot away, leaving the peas to slowly grow in the nutrients left by their dying outside cover. They will grow slowly during the autumn and summer, but by spring will have produced a modest shoot, often with a few leaves on it. However, this plant will not produce any flowers for at least another year or two until it works up a strong main stem and enough leaves to supply the energy for such an endeavor.
Myth/Lore. The Dalferia was actually named after the Dalireen, the Hobbit Deity of Bards and Children. In many old paintings and portrayals, Dalireen was sometimes shown having yellow flowers up in the waves of her hair, and it was always assumed that this flower was in fact a yellow Dalferia. When praying to this deity for inspiration, many will decorate their home with Dalferia flowers, or sit next to a Dalferia plant with a quill and parchment in hand, looking to gain inspiration from the plant. The plant is also known to be a symbol of spring. Those living in mid-Santharia often sing the following song when the Dallferia is first blooming to celebrate the end of winter:
Hark! The winter is retreating,
For the bitter cold does melt away!
Yonder gray clouds are reseeding.
How I wish to greet the day!
Spring is blooming in bright sunlight,
That thick as honey, fills the sky.
Oh what a glorious, brilliant sight
To see the white aelirel sing and fly!
The ash and ice of last season,
Which cold and colorless, is gone
Has given us all every reason
To laugh and sing and praise the dawn!
Now life and light and promise teem
Where in the bitter ashen gloom
Such things had all been just a dream:
Hark! Look see! The Dalferia bloom!
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus