|The Mortaeus flower|
|Place of origin:||Caves of Balor|
|Appearances:||The Poisoned Chalice|
The Mortaeus flower is a plant that grows underground on the roots of the Mortaeus tree in the Forests of Balor. In reality the flower shown in the cave is a non-poisonous hybrid orchid in the genus Masdevallia, subtribe Pleurothallidinae, originating in Central and South America. The flower's petals are poisonous, capable of killing a human in four or five days unless altered with magical enchantments, in which case the petals can kill in as little as two days. A rash will appear on the wrist of the infected two days prior to death. The victim falls into a coma shortly after drinking. An antidote to the poison can be brewed from the leaves of the same flower.A mortaeus petal was used by the sorceress Nimueh in her attempt to kill the warlock Merlin with a poisoned chalice. She chanted a spell on a petal ("Wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum, þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. Syððan ærest wearð feasceaft funden. Ofer hronrade hyran scolde Merlin") while she was watching Merlin in her scrying fount. Gaius determined the nature of the poisoning and Prince Arthur Pendragon ventured to Balor and descended into the caves below the forest to find the flower and procure its leaves. Although Arthur was arrested upon his return to Camelot for disobeying his father, who had ordered the Prince not to travel to Balor, Guinevere managed to sneak into the dungeons, retrieve the flower, and deliver it to Gaius in time for him to brew the antidote and save Merlin's life (The Poisoned Chalice).