Only found in the deepest of underground mines, iron flowers are a rare and beautiful supernatural plant.
Iron flowers are often sought out in romantic poetry, as a symbolic gesture of affection to the recipient. They are difficult to find, and incredibly delicate if they are picked, so the few that survive the trip are both incredibly rare and valuable.
Iron flowers are a flowering vine that only grows in complete darkness, and to thrive needs a large volume of metal to thrive. Therefore, they are usually found growing in mines, if they are found at all.
The blossoms are five petalled flowers that can be as large as an adult human’s hand. The entire plant has an outer coating of metal, drawn from the ground they grow in, and their coloration will match their metal make-up. Iron flowers are the best known, as iron is the most sturdy metal they can grow from, but copper, silver and gold flowers have also been found.
Once picked, the interior plant material will slowly wither and die away, leaving only the extremely thin outer metal shell. This material is delicate and can break at the slightest touch. The best method of keeping them in one piece is to set the flower in resin once the plant matter has died away, before it has a chance to start crumbling. Outside of this or some other method of containing it, they naturally crumble away after a few weeks at most.
The plants will die immediately if exposed to any natural light, and tend to wilt in any artificial light, so they are rarely found in good shape by humans. Some species of cave dwellers cultivate them, but even these will be wild gardens; the plants are not overly tolerant of being touched even while still growing.
The flowers are not poisonous, and typically depend on their secluded home for their only defense. If touched, the flowers tend to wilt or die, and if cut they will slowly crumble unless they are preserved. In other words, they are pretty and incredibly delicate, and not remotely dangerous.