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ambush

An ambush (noun) is probably one of the weirdest plants on this or any other planet. The stem of an ambush bush is mainly royal purplish in colour, but often with many excrement-brown coloured scabs along the stalk. Small branches sprout of the main stem and the ends of each of these branches holds a cluster of between four and eighteen variegated green, orange and blue leaves. The combination of those specific green, orange and blue hues is proof positive that there is no Intelligent Designer in the universe because, if there were, He or She would certainly have picked a colour scheme that wasn’t so incredibly hideous.

On mature ambushes, there are also smaller shoots off the secondary branches. These shoots have clusters of between two and four leaves of the same revolting colours as on the secondary ranches. In addition, during the summer months a cluster of two or three bright red berries grows on each of these tertiary shoots. These berries are the ambushes sole means of reproduction.

But all of that is not the weird part. The weird part is that ambushes are visible only in the morning.

At sunrise, the ambush pushes its stalk, branches, leaves and, on mature plants, berries up above the surface of the ground. When the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, this skittish low-lying plant gets nervous and, thinking its long shadow is a large creature that is out to get it, quickly yanks its stem and greenery, purplery, orangery, bluery, and redery back down underground again. They stay there until the next sunrise, when the ambush bush repeats the cycle.

Interestingly, this happens in both summer and winter, even in climes with cold, snowy winters. However, because the ambush is low to the ground, even at it’s peak height during the morning hours, you can’t see the bushes branches or leaves if there is more than a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

In the winter in these climates, ambush bushes get exceptionally pissed off about both the weather and their inability to see the sky for several months at a time. They often threaten to kill themselves and become extinct in wintery climates for all time, but, before they do so, spring arrives and ambushes change their minds. Ambush plants don’t have much long-term memory, so they forget about winter as soon as it passes. They continue to forget about it until the next winter comes and their Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and thoughts of suicide return.

As an interesting and controversial aside, there are rumours of plants that are late risers and show themselves only in the afternoon and evening hours. However, it’s believed that a universal conspiracy of botanists has kept all knowledge of this plant from the general public because the botanists feel that the name “pmbush” would be unpronounceable and too inelegant to foist on the public.

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