|Official Name||Yuntia Cactus|
|Common Name||Cat’s Paw Cactus, Catclaw Cactus|
|Common Use||Food, Medicinal|
The Yuntia Cactus is a padded cactus native to Ithania's desert. The yellow flowers of this cactus can be used to brew refreshing teas and medicinal infusions that help remove impurities from the lungs and respiratory tracts. The Cactus is also considered an icon of ancient Asha culture, and as such holds great relevance to the present-day Asha who wish to reclaim their identity, though its extensive use by their enslavers has tainted it for some. Yuntia Cacti are highly adaptable succulents, and in the present day have spread to some cooler climates abroad, so long as there is a warm-season in contrast.
The Yuntia Cactus originates from the northern fringe of the Ithanian desert, and were a known commodity of the Dewamenet Empire. However, when the Allorn Empire arrived, and after the war that resulted in the collapse of the Asha state, the plant was extensively Altalarized. A special tea made by the Asha using the plant was claimed as an invention of the Altalar, and further, the Altalar claimed that their idiot slaves did not know how to avoid touching Yuntia Cactus even when explicitly told not to. This is a lie, of course, but it has perpetuated into today. The plant was spread by the Allorn Empire, though not very far, remaining within the arid regions that it favored with some survivability in temperate regions with a hot season. Today, the Altalar still drink Yuntia Tea, a sweet and throat soothing drink, and actively reject the Asha statements of its origin. The modern Asha from their city-states rarely drink the Tea themselves, so fully disillusioned from it, though its medical use as an alchemical product has often removed it entirely from these politics when used in other parts of Aloria.
The Yuntia Cactus is a succulent with large, spiny pads that can grow up to eight inches long. The spines can grow an inch long with one face of a pad containing two to three dozen spines. The Cactus earns its nickname, “Cat’s Paw Cactus”, from its tendency to grow new pads three or four at a time, each spaced equally along the top of the parent pad. Yuntia Cacti are shrub-like, and usually grow no taller than five feet in height.
The Cactus pads boast a lime-green hue, whereas Yuntia flowers have a golden-yellow color with a deep red emanating from the center. These flowers bloom half as big as a pad, with each pad able to sprout up to half a dozen flowers. The Cactus remains green and lively all year long in warm climates; but in temperate climates with freezing winters, the Cactus deflates and turns a darker, purple color. In the following spring, however, the Cactus regenerates, coming back both green and healthy.
Uses and Abilities
Yuntia flowers can be seeped in water and mixed with honey and other spices such as Mint or Dragonflower to produce Yuntia Tea. It usually takes one flower for every cup of water to achieve enough flavor. The tea has a sweet, citrusy flavor. It is most notable for giving a heavy mouthfeel as if drinking thick, viscous honey despite its watery appearance. For use as a medicinal tincture, the flower also has lung-cleansing potential when crafted into Alchemy.
- Among the scarce Asha artifacts found in the Ithanian deserts, some of the most notable include fragments of glass bottles engraved with the image of a Yuntia Cactus.