the Lovetree flower
|Arborodor brutium B.|
Distribution in Brutland and Norden
The lovetree (Arborodor brutium) is a tree native to Brutland. Called amoràrbo in Nord-Brutlandese, it is named for its fragrant flowers sought after in “Gardens of Love”. It is also used in landscaping and in scented gardens, its genus, Arborodor, means “tree scent”.
The lovetree is a deciduous tree to 30-40 m tall. The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with entire margins, and 7 to 11 cm long, 4 to 6 cm wide. The flowers are white, 8 to 12 cm diameter, with 5 to 12 tepals. The flowers carry a very strong scent. The fruit is a fused aggregate of follicles, 4 to 6 cm long, crimson red when mature, with the follicles splitting open to release the 1 cm long seeds. The seeds are brown, covered by a thin fleshy red coat, which is attractive to some fruit-eating birds; these swallow the seeds, digest the red coating, and disperse the seeds in their droppings. The bark is smooth and gray, which, when injured, releases a crimson sap, that soon hardens into what the Nord-Brutlandese call the red myrrh (mirenzo ruga). Red myrrh smells reminiscent of the lovetree flowers. The odor is released some more when red myrrh is burned.
Despite the red myrrh, the lovetree is not related to the true myrrh producing trees (Commiphora and Balsamodendron, from the order Sapindales) or to other trees producing dragon’s blood (Dracaena, Daemonops, Croton). The lovetree was originally classified under the genus Michelia, in the order Magnoliales. The lovetree and its close relative, the bloodtree (Arborodor sanguinum), were left in the genus when all of the Michelia species were reclassified into the genus Magnolia. The bloodtree and lovetree were given its own genus, Arborodor. Red myrrh from the lovetree is considered equal to that of the bloodtree.
The lovetree is native to Brutland, having speciated from a common ancestor with the bloodtree, which is found in Norden. The lovetree can hybridize with the bloodtree (Arborodor sanguinum x brutium) producing what is called the “bleeding-heart tree”.
Uses and Precautions
It can be found in the wild throughout Brutland, but it can be cultivated as an ornamental plant, especially in scented gardens. Its scent is noticeable throughout the night, and is commonly indicative of trysting places. Its red myrrh is used in perfumes, incense, and in folk remedies. Red myrrh is used in folk medicine as an astringent and antimicrobial.
The wood of the lovetree is also desired for its pinkish color. It has various ornamental uses, as building material and as decorative material.