The major indigenous vegetation of Equinox, these trees were classified by an early botanical survey team in the Order Coniferales. A classification confirmed by the shape of their seed clusters which resemble seed cones from the Terran Sequoia semperverans. Another for the attribution of the Pillars to the genus sequoia is their enormous size and extreme age – core samples of the mature trees confirms that the youngest of these is over 500,000 standard years old. The Pillars of Wisdom are categorized into two species: Sequoia adeptus, and Sequoia neophytes. Both species are phototropic. Their branch systems unfold during daylight hours to facilitate the collection of sunlight for photosynthesis. However, the branches retract at twilight to conserve thermal energy. This later state is what has caused them to be known as Pillars because of their resemblance to the lotus-capped columns of ancient Egyptian hypostyle temples
These floræ are the masters of Equinox. The conifer forests of Equinox have a sampling of Terran-like fauna and flora, but they are dominated by this species. The Pillars are the oldest living entities in the Know Universe. Although the gravity of Equinox is nearly Earth normal (85%) the Pillars grow to enormous height. The mature adult Sequoia adeptus ranges in height from 800 to 1,000 meters. The tallest specimens have a trunk diameter at the base of 50 to 75 meters. The Pillars are a species of genus Sequoia, and are noted for their massive size and extreme age – the youngest of the mature trees is over 500,000 standard years old.
The Equinox Sequoia is divided into two species; Sequoia neophytes, and Sequoia adeptus. The significant difference between the two sub-species is that the Sequoia adeptus known in the vernacular as “adeptii” have evolved to sentience. The trees are a living repository for all universal knowledge. They stand balanced on the boundary between positive and negative existence. They exist in time and space, they have physical form and existence, but their roots tap into the timeless unity of the Source.
Physically the two groups are quite different. The adeptii are collected in symmetrical groves known as “Halls” or “Mansions”. The Halls of the Adeptii are located over the seventy electrogravitic nodes and twelve cardinal poles of the planet. The neophytes propagate in fractal patterns around these ninety-two Halls.
In the figure above polar views are shown of Equinox’s Halls of the Adeptii. The red circles indicate the ten cardinal Adeptii Halls. The blue circles represent the sixty ordinal Halls of the Adeptii, and the green circles represent the ten variable Adeptii Halls. The Yellow and purple circles denote the North and South Pole Halls.
The adeptii are much larger than the neophytes due to their advanced age. The oldest of the adeptii in each Hall are known as the “Chiefs”. The Chiefs are as much as 1,600 meters tall with trunks that are fifty meters in diameter. In the Halls, the first branches appear approximately 100 meters above the forest floor. Both sub-species are phototropic. Their branch structures open during daylight hours to permit photosynthesis, but the branch structures retract after twilight to conserve energy. This latter condition is what caused human explorers to call the species by the common name “Pillars of Wisdom”. The trees’ closed position resembles the lotus capped columns of the ancient Egyptian temples of Karnak.
The wood of the Equinox Sequoia neophytes has several peculiar properties. Visual examination on the microscopic level shows a unique order to the cell structure. To the unaided eye, the wood grain has a depth and clarity that is unknown in any other tree species. The wood glows with an inner fire. Heartwood from these trees is a rich crimson with a fine fractal tracery of black, and is highly prized as a precious wood. The first layer of new growth immediately beneath the bark strata has the translucent and luminescent qualities of alabaster. Proximity to the wood from the species has a soothing or tranquilizing effect on animals with sophisticated cerebral cortex. The most distinctive property of Sequoia adeptus derives from the bark. The complex esters released by freshly harvested bark have a psychotropic quality. The esters are most efficiently released through the introduction of heat to the bark. Inhalation or ingestion of sufficient quantities of the esters induces transcendental dream states in higher primates and homo sapiens of Terra, but appears to have no effect on other Terran fauna.