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Punga is an edible type of fruit endemic to the Point Lookout area, obtained from mutated bushes growing in the warm, moist climate of the regional swamps. The largest plant of this type, Mother Punga, demonstrates just how well adapted the plant is to the post-nuclear environment of Point Lookout.
In appearance, punga bushes have ovate leaves with a serrated margin and acute tips. The plant has one or more main stems without leaves, from which branches develop which carry the leaves themselves. Punga fruit plants flower at a single point at the terminus of their stems, gradually developing into large, fleshy fruits with a yellow-brown, rough and thick skin. Apart from excellent nutrition, the fruit has unique properties that enable it to remove radiation from the body and boost its natural healing abilities. The same substances that make that possible also make it highly addictive. The fruits also contain edible seeds, which, if left to gestate, eventually break the skin of the ripe fruit and emerge on stems growing from the core of the fruit, allowing the plant to proliferate.
The punga fruit's properties led to it being used by Point Lookout tribals under the leadership of Jackson. Having set up a sophisticated hydroponics farm in the Ark & Dove Cathedral, he was able to generate a crop surplus and create a selectively bred derivative. Exporting the crop across the Atlantic coast through Tobar, they are able to secure income as well as a steady trickle of new converts, seeking more fruit to fuel their addiction.
Some Point Lookout locals also managed to develop ways of using the punga-derived commodities, like alcoholic beverages. Punga fruit also contains electrolytes that allow it to become a battery with the right electrodes inserted into the flesh, much like pre-War lemon batteries.
Wild punga fruit
Wild punga bushes can be identified by their ovate leaves with a serrated margin and acute tips and the large fruit they carry. The plant has one or more main stems without leaves, from which branches develop which carry the leaves themselves. Punga fruit plants flower at a single point at the terminus of their stems, gradually developing into large, fleshy fruits with a yellow/brown, thick skin. They are common throughout Point Lookout, due to the unique conditions offered by the swamps, and the further unique function of scrubbing radiation from the system and healing at the same time.
Refined punga fruit
A cultivar of the wild punga fruit, developed by Jackson and his tribe. Grown in hydroponic farms at the Ark & Dove cathedral, the "refined" punga fruit benefits greatly from the stable supply of water and fertilizer. The plant has a lighter green color than its wild cousin, while its fruit is bigger and generally softer to the touch. Their nutritional qualities are also improved as well.
Edible seeds produced by the Mother Punga plant, they are potent hallucinogenic properties and are taken as a rite of passage in Point Lookout tribal customs. In appearance, they are black, rounded pods with the white seeds clearly visible inside.
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.77: "Jackson [Point Lookout]"
"Jackson wasn't born with "the look." While a young man, however, he discovered a strange device in the wreckage of a ship. While examining it, he inadvertently activated a long-dormant power source connected to a holographic head. Jackson, deeply superstitious, interpreted this event as the manifestation of a powerful spirit. Jackson would return here with increasing frequency to "commune" with the spirit. This disembodied head, in reality, is a sentient person. During Jackson's séance encounters, he would be given instructions.
Thanks to the efforts of followers who slowly began appearing in Jackson's presence, along with the piecemeal guidance he passes along from his "visions" of the brain, the tribe has set up a surprisingly effective hydroponics system to grow large quantities of Punga fruit. This harvest, thanks to Tobar's service as a trader, draws a steady trickle of fresh blood into the area, thanks in large part to the addictive properties of the plant. These entrepreneurs and addicts often wind up inducted as new tribe members."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
- Mother Punga appearance
- A Spoonful of Whiskey
- Desmond Lockheart's experiment at the Calvert Mansion