Scythian Lamb Facts
- The incredible Scythian Lamb presents a remarkable appearance to all who see it. Further, the incredible plant has its own footnote in history. This occurred because some ancient peoples believed the distinctive plant actually produced sheep.
- But, this unusual species does have very useful properties. In fact, it has chemical properties which give it legitimate medicinal uses. This plant remains a common ingredient in folk medicine even today, within its native habitat range.
- The Scythian Lamb has a broad endemic range, compared to related species. Despite this, its numbers continue to decline. This trend appears to be primarily due to its being extensively collected throughout much of its endemic range.
- It should be noted that another deceptive characteristic of the plant also exist. Despite its low-slung stature, this distinctive species actually belongs to the tree fern family. As a result, as remains true of many tree ferns, it also tends to develop in colonies.
Scythian Lamb Physical Description
Not surprisingly, given its common name, the Scythian Lamb possesses a quite unusual nature. It also has a somewhat unique stature for a tree fern. That holds true due to the fact that this species only attains an average height of 3.25 ft (1 m) when erect.
However, the fascinating variety flora typically remains prostrate. In addition, the fronds of the remarkable fern typically grow to lengths of 10 ft (3 m). These astounding fronds of the Scythian Lamb most commonly develop a light green color.
But, the rhizomes of the species garner the most interest. This part of the plant evolved a covering of long, golden colored hairs resembling sheep’s wool. This also grows extremely thick in nature. The evergreen fern grows slowly, and typically in alkali-rich soils.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Polypodiopsida
- Order: Cyatheales
- Family: Dicksoniaceae
- Genus: Cibotium
- Species: C. barometz
Scythian Lamb Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Much like many of its related species, the fabulous Scythian Lamb evolved in a very specific type of region. In point of fact, the truly fascinating flora possesses a tropical and subtropical distribution. But, the plant primarily occurs endemically in the country of China.
Yet, the astounding fern also occurs in smaller numbers across much of the continent of Asia. Plus, the species also now appears elsewhere around the world. Its popularity has caused it to be introduced to several other regions, usually as a variety of ornamental plant.
It usually appears in gullies, forests, and on hillsides, and prefers areas of damp, shady conditions. It only grows naturally at altitudes between 656-15,146 ft (200-1,500 m). China, where most of the species still appears, banned the export the of the Scythian Lamb.
This fortunate action occurred in the year 1977. At that time, government officials took the action due to a marked decrease in its numbers. But sadly, the species continues to be heavily harvested in portions of southeast Asia for local medicinal uses.