The Emerald Fern is a rare fern found only in the isolated forests and jungles of Derra IV. Its extreme beauty has made it one of the most valuable ornamental plants in the trade but it has other commercial uses as well which have made the competition over it ferocious to the point of open conflict.
The Emerald Fern is a typical fern in most respects. It comes in one deep green color and is quite rare, often only showing up in secluded forest locations. It produces tiny emerald green spores which, under the right conditions, will deposit in the soil and produce new ferns. However, there is a very tight band of acceptable conditions for growth, ensuring most spores will never germinate. Sometimes, when the spore finds a mineral rich moist location, the spore will mineralize into a hardened rounded ball. These are spore pearls and they are worth immense sums of credits. Finding a single spore pearl is worth a years salary to wealthy individuals. To the average worker, such a find is a lifetimes wages. On rare occasions, whole fern fronds will mineralize, turning into emerald fronds. These are incredibly rare however, even more so than the spore pearls and can only be afforded by the wealthiest sentients.
The Emerald Fern has never been successfully grown outside of its native Derra IV nor has it ever been successfully grown in a garden. It has been propagated in laboratories under intensely regulated conditions but, despite millions of invested credits, the secret of a lab-made spore pearl is still elusive. This has led to intense competition for the few known locations where Emerald Ferns are found.
Due to their intense rarity and their value, Emerald Ferns have been fought over by Derra IV's many gangs for years. These always took care to fight in areas away from the ferns themselves so as not to damage their prizes. However, other, more powerful organizations have begun taking an interest in these spore pearls and there have been some minor skirmishes throughout Derra as governments and corporations vie for control of this valuable resource.