The flash crystalroot replaced the crystal rootgrass. The root of the flash crystalroot is sub-surface making it difficult for herbivores to consume or uproot it. The crystal stalks are porous, allowing micro-organisms to colonize parts of it's hard surface. Typically the pores are inhabited by a species of flash bud that work in a symbiosis with the flash crystalroot. The crystalroot provides the flash forests with calcium while the flash forests provide the crystalroot with nutrients in the form of it's waste, nutrients the crystalroot couldn't normally obtain. Flash forests also act as a defense mechanism, scaring away herbivores.
The crystals themselves are capable of branching due to an mutation that causes some pores to start growing crystals of their own. This gives the crystalroot more surface area for photosynthesis and more space for it's symbiotic micro-organisms to grow.
Crystalroots are hermaphroditic in the sense that they have both male and female systems, but they require outside fertilization in order to fertilize the spores. When it is time to mate it will eject one of the needed materials through a specialized pour at the tip of the crystal. It alternates between supplying the fertilizer and the spore 'egg', this is to prevent self-fertilization and encourages diversity.
The purpose of the pours is to take in water to convert into oxygen and then expel the waste. This is why it's important that the pores remain clean. It stores a small amount of hydrogen in a sac just under the main spore vent and releases it when it's time to mate, this allows it to expel it's genetic material while using little energy.