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BALUCHISTAN CENTURY PLANT

Classification: Terrestrial flora (century plant) (late 1940s era)

Creator: Inapplicable

User/Possessors: Jonas Morpheo

First Appearance: Young Allies I#20/1 (October, 1946)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Baluchistan Century Plant, despite appearing to be a small palm, is very likely a member of the Asparagaceae family of flowering plants. The Baluchistan Century Plant is extremely long lived and flowers once a century; this is one aspect that differentiates it from other century plants in that it is long lived and flowers more than once. Although little known, its seed pods are prized for their hallucinogenic effects during sleep after inhaling the fumes of water infused with its ground pods; of note is that its effects can be manipulated due its ready interaction with other ground ingredients. The Baluchistan Century Plant grows well in a semi-shade environment and, with careful watering and maintenance, can be kept as an indoor pot plant with its shallow root system. One mature sample stood at around 5' in height/

History:

(Young Allies I#20/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Baluchistan Century Plant gained a reputation for the hallucinogenic properties influencing dreams from inhaling the fumes of its ground seed pods. New York-based eccentric shop owner Jonas Morpheo came into the possession of one such plant, carefully maintaining it indoors in a large barrel pot in filtered light. With the plant's 100-year flowering cycle arrived, Morpheo harvested its seed pods. Morpheo ground the Century Plant's seed pods with other ingredients and spices, thereby influencing the type of dreams experienced (potentially manipulating the dreamer's experience in the Dream Dimension). Morpheo sold these mixed powders from his Curios shop, his reputation spreading by word of mouth and he priced his dream spice mixes according to the type of dream desired.

(Young Allies I#20/1) - Morpheo sold the dream powders to customers. Murderous criminal Mayhem Monk forced Morpheo to pass dream powder that would show him how to commit a successful robbery, but this drew the attention of the Young Allies team (Bucky, Jeff, Knuckles, Toro, Tubby, Whitewash Jones). Chased, Monk dumped a large amount of dream powder in boiling water that knocked out several of the pursuing Young Allies. Concerned for his unconscious friends, Bucky had Toro incinerate the Morpheo's Baluchistan Century Plant with his flame.

Comments: Created by Otto Binder, Syd Shores, Allen Bellman, Vince Alascia.

It's assumed Baluchistan is the region from where the plant came from (Balochistan (also spelled Baluchistan) is a region now occupied by Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan), although century plants are indigenous to warmer parts of North America. Presumably Morpheo still had unground seeds and may have been able to germinate a new plant. Regardless, it is unlikely this was the last of its species (although flowering once in a 100 years means little opportunity for the plant's natural seeded distribution; perhaps it relied also on propagation or new shoots like other century plants).

The real-life Agave americana is also called a century plant and typically lives 10-30 years, flowering at the end of its life (although new shoots continue its growth). Its hard spiked leaves sprout from the base and do not appear like the palm-like fronds of the Baluchistan Century Plant (while palms have much longer lifespans).

The Young Allies' initial comic adventures were later retconned in the Young Allies Comics 70th Anniversary Special (2009) to be fictional retellings of their real adventures, so this story's accuracy is left up to the reader in this case.

Thanks to John Holstein for the main image.

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for credits info.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Baluchistan Century Plant has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Young Allies I#20/1, p2, pan2 (main image)


Appearances:
Young Allies I#20/1 (October, 1946) - Otto Binder (writer), Syd Shores & Allen Bellman (pencils), Vince Alascia (inks), Stan Lee (editor)/font>


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First posted: 04/08/2023
Last Updated: 04/08/2023

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