(#28, Version 5.0)
Like many things, the flora on Gor is a combination of items very similar to Earth flora and a variety of items specific only to Gor. The following is a list of the Gorean flora described or named within in the books. Obviously, many other varieties of plants, trees and such exist on Gor but were never named in the books. For example, the rainforests near Schendi and the northern forests contain a myriad of varieties of flora and many were not described or listed in the books. More information on some of the flora of Gor can be found in another Scroll #7, Gorean Food and Drink.
Arctic flora: The arctic regions of Gor, the home of the Red Hunters, is not as barren as might be suspected. There are approximately 240 varieties of flora that grow within five hundred pasangs of the north pole. Only the areas near the glacial ice are generally bereft of plant life. Small perennials are a common type of vegetation. The growing season is too short for annuals to adequately grow. During the cold winters, the buds of the perennials lay dormant in a fluffy, protective sheath. Out of all of the different types of flora in this region, none of the plants have thorns or are poisonous. There was no need to develop such defenses due to the dearth of predators that could threaten such vegetation.
Bazi tea: This is an herbal tea that comes in many different varieties. Thus there are a number of shrubs that provide tea leaves though no specific names are ever given for them. As Bazi tea is a common drink, the tea shrubs may no longer be limited only to Bazi and may grow in a number of different places.
Black wine: This is a coffee-like drink made from beans grown only in the mountain city of Thentis. Thentis does not trade the beans to make this drink. It is very strong and bitter, almost like expresso coffee. It likely has an Earth origin, especially due to its limited area of growth on Gor.
Brak bush: This is an odorous shrub and its leaves, if chewed, have a purgative effect which means that they may induce vomiting. The brak bush also figures into certain superstitions associated with the Gorean New Year. During the Waiting Hand, the five-day period before the start of the New Year, many people seal the doors of their homes with pitch and nail branches of the brak bush to the doors. This is done to prevent the entry of bad luck into the house for the New Year. On the first day of the New Year, the pitch is then washed away and the brak branches are burned.
Cacao trees: These trees grow in the tropical regions of Gor and their beans can be used to make chocolate. These appear very similar to Earth cacao trees.
Carpet plant: This is a plant of the rainforests of Gor. They possess strong tendrils that can be used as ties to secure items.
Clover: This is a plant on Gor similar to the Earth plant of the same name.
Dina: This is a small, short stemmed flower that grows primarily on hill slopes in the northern temperate zones of Gor. It is much rarer in the southern hemisphere so dinas are more valuable there. In its budding, though in few other ways, it resembles an Earth rose. The dina is sometimes referred to as the "slave flower" though the precise origin of that designation is unknown. There is one legend concerning its origin centering on a Ubar of Ar. This Ubar pursued and captured the daughter of one of his enemies, finally trapping her within a field of dinas. The Ubar scanned his surroundings and chose to name his new slave Dina. Dina is a common slave name and there is even a brand that resembles a dina. Girls that bear the dina brand may be referred to as "dinas." There is another reason why dinas may be called the slave flower. ".., It is, though delicate and beautiful, a reasonably common, unimportant flower; it is also easily plucked, being defenseless, and can be easily crushed, overwhelmed and, if one wishes, discarded." (Slave Girl of Gor, p.62)
Fern: This is a plant on Gor similar to the Earth plant of the same name.
Festal: This is a type of shrubbery that grows in the Vosk delta and possibly elsewhere. There is no description of it within the books.
Flahdah: This is a tree of the Tahari region that resembles a flat-topped umbrella on a crooked stick. The flahdah has narrow branches holding lanceolate-shaped leaves. Its trunk leans like a palm tree and they do not get taller than twenty feet high.
Flaminium: This is a large flower with five, scarlet petals. Its buds are large and it is likely that it is aromatic.
Flower tree: It is unknown if this is an indigenous tree or whether it has been specially cultivated by men. The tree has a segmented trunk and many beautiful flowers. In some gardens, the trees are cultivated so that the flowers cluster together so that each such cluster can be used as a bouquet. The colors of the flowers are cultivated as well so that each cluster contains an interesting array of shades and colors. These are likely very expensive trees.
Fruit: There is a wide variety of fruit that grows on Gor. They include many types similar to Earth fruits such as apricots, berries, cherries, dates, grapes, melons, olives, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates and strawberries. The cherries and red olives of Tyros and the olives of Tor are famed across Gor. There are also fruits indigenous to Gor such as larmas, ram-berries, Ta grapes, and tospits.
Grass: A number of different colored grasses exist on Gor including violet grass, dark blue grass and a yellowish-orange grass. Other colors might exist as well.
Hogarthe trees: These trees are reminiscent of Earth poplar trees. They are white-barked with shimmering green leaves. They are about fifty feet tall and lay about thirty to forty feet from each other. They are most commonly found near areas of water within the Barrens, the home of the Red Savages. These trees are named for Hogarthe, an early white explorer of the Barrens region.
Ka-la-na tree: The Ka-la-na tree is also known as the wine tree because the famous Ka-la-na wine is derived from its fruit. The bark and inner wood of this tree is yellow and the wood is actually very strong and supple. It is commonly used in making bows. The tree fruit that can be eaten as is or used to create wine. The tree smells sweet, likely due to its fruit and not the wood itself. The books unfortunately do not describe what Ka-la-na fruit looks like. Ka-la-na orchards are very common across Gor and many cities make their own brand of Ka-la-na wine. Though Ka-la-na wine is depicted in the books predominantly as red, there is some indication that may not be its only possible color. Ka-la-na does come in sweet, dry and light varieties.
Kanda: This plant grows primarily in the desert regions of the southern hemisphere though it can even be found in the northern hemisphere. The roots of the kanda plant, when ground and dried, are extremely toxic. A paste is often made of the poison and then applied as a glaze to a blade or needle. This glaze may look white once it has melted a bit from the heat. It is a deadly poison and few honorable Goreans, except for women, would use it. The leaves of the kanda plant are not toxic though they carry their own form of harm. The leaves are often rolled into a string and then either chewed or sucked. The leaves act as a narcotic drug and they are addictive. The southern hemisphere has a greater problem with such addictions due to the prevalence of the plant there.
Katch: This is a foliated leaf vegetable, likely similar to lettuce, cabbage or spinach.
Kes: This shrub grows best in sany soil and its roots extend deep into the ground. The secondary roots of the shrub are bleu in color and taste salty. They may be eaten and are the primary ingredient in sullage, a type of soup.
Kort: This is a brown and thick-skinned, sphere-shaped vegetable which is about six inches wide. The interior is yellow, fibrous and heavily seeded. It grows in the Tahari region and is often served sliced with melted cheese and nutmeg
Larma: There are two varieties of larma, a hard larma and a segmented larma. The hard larma has a crunchy, red skin like an apple. It has a single-seed, a large stone, and thus is also called a pit fruit. The segmented type is very juicy and more similar to an orange.
Leech plant: This is a dangerous plant that subsists off of blood. The plant can sense living creatures that pass by and it can strike quite fast. Almost like a vampire, it attach two hollow, fang-like thorns into its victim. It makes a loud popping and sucking sound as its bladder-like, seed pods expand and contract, drawing blood through its thorns. On well traveled roads, these plants are cleared from the sides of the road. They are mainly dangerous to children and small animals. But, an adult, who does not check a wooded area before camping there for the night, could also fall prey to its dangers.
Liana vine: This is a plant in the rainforests that can be used as a source of drinking water if you are knowledgeable of it. You would make a cut high on the vine, over your head. Then, you would make another cut about a foot off the ground. This vine tube could then hold a liter of water, depending on recent rainfalls.
Lotus-like flowers: These aquatic flowers, similar to the Earth lotus, are found on Gor though it is unknown what they are called on Gor.
Needle tree: This is an evergreen tree, indigenous to Thentis and the northern forests. Its oil can be used to make perfume.
Palm trees: There are more than 1500 varieties and types of palm trees in the rainforests though onlky a few are specifically mentioned in the books. Some palm trees have leaves that are twenty feet long. One type of plam tree mentioned in the books is the fan palm. This palm grows in the rainforests of Gor and like the liana vine, can be a source of water. The fan palm is commonly over twenty feet high and its leaves are spread open like a fan. Rain water falls into the fan and is collected at the bottom. It can hold up to a liter of water. Date palms are another type mentioned in the books. Date palms can grow to be over one hundred feet tall. It takes a date palm about ten years before it first bears any dates. But, after that time, the palm will bear fruit for the next one hundred years. Each year, a date palm will provide about forty to two hundred pounds of dates. There is a palm wine on Gor, an export of city of Schendi, but no description was ever given of this wine so its color, flavor and such are unknown.
Pod tree: This is a tree indigenous to the rainforests and its inner bark can be used to make a bark cloth.
Ram-berries: These berries are like a tiny plum. They are small, reddish berries with edible seeds.
Rence: The rence plant is a tall, leafy plant indigenous to the Delta region though it can be found in a few other marsh areas on Gor. Rence plants have a long root, about four inches thick, that rests underwater and extends out horizontally from the stalk. A number of smaller roots descend from this main root into the muddy soil of the Delta. Above the water, a number of long stems raise up into the air. There may be as many as a dozen stems and they may extend up to sixteen feet into the air. It will also commonly have a lone floral spike extending amidst the stems. The Caste of Rencers live within the Delta region and their primary business is the growth, cultivation and use of the rence plant. Rence has many uses though its primary use is to make a form of paper. Scroll #31, The Caste of Rencers, has more information on rence.
Rep plant: This is a small, reddish woody bush. The seed pods of this bush contain a whitish, fibrous matter that can be used to make cloth. Rep is commercially grown in several areas, especially below Ar and above the equator. Rep cloth is cheap, strong and dyes well. It is a common fabric for slave livery and many Low Castes.
Sa-Tarna: This is a tall, yellow grain that is the staple crop of Gor. Sa-Tarna bread is a major product of this grain. Sa-Tarna grain also makes Pagar-Sa-Tarna, paga for short, a fermented brew that may be the most popular alcoholic drink on Gor. There is a hybrid variety of Sa-Tarna that is brownish and grown in the Tahari regions as it has been adapted for the heat of the desert.
Sim plant: This is a rambling, vine-like plant with huge, rolling leaves that is cultivated in the pasture chambers of the Nest of the Priest-Kings within the Sardar Mountains.
Sip root: This is a very bitter root that can have a contraceptive effect. In some areas, such as the Barrens, sip root is chewed raw and it will act as a contraceptive for about three to four months. It is also used in the cities as an ingredient in slave wine. Slave wine currently acts as an indefinite contraceptive, countered only by the use of a special releasor.
Sul: This is a tuberous root vegetable like a potato. It is commonly large, thick-skinned, starchy, and yellow-fleshed. It is a Gorean staple and can be served in a myriad of different ways. Peasants also make an alcoholic drink out of suls called sul paga. It is similar to a very potent moonshine.
Ta grapes: These grapes may have originated on the island of Cos though they are now grown in many areas. They can be as big as a tiny plum and are often peeled by slaves before served. A famous wine is made from these grapes and Cos is supposed to have the finest quality Ta wine. Different cities have their own varieties of Ta wine, but none better than Cos. The color of this wine was never stated in the books.
Talender: This is a delicate, yellow petaled flower. The talendar is often associated with love and beauty. Free women may wear talendars at the feast celebration of her Free Companionship or maidens may weave them into garlands to wear. Slaves may also wear talendars though free women strongly object to it. If a slave girl affixes a talendar into her hair, this is a silent signal to her Master that she wishes to be raped. A slave girl may also fix talendars in her hair if she has finally submitted to her Master but fears telling him of that fact. The talendars will be a silent signal of her surrender.
Telekint: This is a plant, common in the Tahari region, and its roots can be used to create a red dye. You simply mash the roots and mix them with water.
Tem-wood: This is a tree that produces a very strong and supple black wood. This wood is often used in important construction work.
Teriotrope: This is a colorful and fragrant flower. Its exact description is not given in the books.
Tes: This is a type of shrubbery that exists in the Vosk delta and possibly elsewhere as well. Its exact description is not given in the books.
Teslik: This is a plant whose extract is the active ingredient in breeding wine, the releasor for slave wine.
Tobacco: Tobacco is basically unknown on Gor. In the Sardar though, one person did grow some tobacco, imported from Earth. This is an extreme exception and tobacco does not exist anywhere outside the Sardar.
Tor Shrub: This shrub, found in the Vosk delta and elsewhere, is known by various different names. This name translates as "bright shrub" or "shrub of light." This shrub has abundant bright flowers, either yellow or white. It blooms in the fall season and does not grow higher than a man's waist.
Tospit: This is a yellowish-white peachlike fruit, about the size of a plum. It comes in either a short or long-stemmed variety. The short stem is the more common variety and usually has an odd number of seeds. The rare, long-stemmed variety though does not. The tospit is a fairly hard-fleshed fruit and are very bitter but are often used sliced with honey, in syrups, or for their juices as a flavoring. They are good to protect seamen against disease and thus are sometimes called seamen's larma. It is easy to dry and store aboard a ship. The long-stemmed variety are not available until late in the summer.
Tur tree: This tree is a lofty, reddish tree that may grow to two hundred feet or more. It is similar to the redwoods of Earth. It is very common in the northern forests of Gor. The city of Turia derived its name from these trees. Legend states that a Tur tree was found on the southern plains near a spring. No one knows who wanted the tree there or why. A city then grew in that area and would become known as Turia.
Turl bush: This bush is used by the Red Savages of the Barrens to waterproof hides.
Tur-pah: This is a vinelike, tree parasite that lives on Tur trees. Its leaves, scarlet and ovate, are edible and are a main ingredient in sullage, a type of soup.
Vangis: This is an unknown type of fruit or vegetable. They are mentioned though never described in the novels.
Vegetables: There is a wide variety of vegetables grown on Gor. They include many types similar to Earth vegetables such as beans, cabbages, carrots, corn, onions, peas, peppers, pumpkins, radishes, squash, and turnips. There are also vegetables indigenous to Gor such as katch, korts, and suls.
Veminium: There are a couple different varieties of this flower. Generally, it refers to a blue wildflower commonly found in the lower ranges of Thentis Mountains. It can be used in the making of perfumes. There is also Desert Veminium which is a small purplish flower that grows on the edges of the Tahari region. It too can be used to create perfume. Both flowers can be boiled in water and the vapors can be condensed into an oil. In the Tahari, that oil is used to perfume water and such water is then used to wash one's eating hand before and after dinner.
Verr grass: This is a common type of brownish grass on Gor likely named as such because verr enjoy grazing on it.