Do you ever find something just so incredible, so amazingly fascinating, that you find you have to incorporate it into your writing? This is how I felt when I learned about the dragon blood tree, or Dracaena cinnabari. Just look at this beauty:
The dragon blood tree only grows in one small part of the world, the Socotra Archipelago. It's vulnerable, which means it's already super rare, and preservation efforts are under way to make sure that new plants grow. Here's the amazing thing though… the trees bleed! Or, at least, they look like they do. The resin is red, and used as a dye and a varnish. It's also used as toothpaste, and for healing wounds, lowering fevers and treating ulcers. In short this beautiful and rare plant is pretty much a cure-all for local residents.
I'm definitely going to be including this in my Quartz Storm series. It doesn't fit well in the first book, I think, but the second is going to have much more of an exploration vibe as our protagonist…well, let's just say she has a personal quest.
This is one of the things I love about writing fantasy, it makes me notice so much more of the wonderful world we live in. I’d love to hear about some of the weird and wonderful parts of nature and folklore you love, feel free to share in the comments!
The Wikipedia article is fascinating