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I have read about bugs making things purple, but this solitary tree seems more intentional. It does not have a name or interaction that I can see.

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Where did you come across this tree? –  harbichidian Dec 26 '11 at 23:41
    
@echoback - Alas, wanderlust has taken me from the area and I can't find it. It was a giant camp as you can see from the compass. –  user9983 Dec 26 '11 at 23:54
    
the bug making stuff purple usually happens when u have a fullscreen game and minimize it for a long time why that tree is purple idk tho however it ain't from the bug cuz that would make everything purple (at least in CSS). –  ronnie Dec 27 '11 at 14:10
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

That's the sleeping tree!

If you find the cave nearby (with one giant in it) you'll find a body with a note that will lead you to Ysolda in WhiteRun. Ysolda, after being shown the note and when asked, tells a tale about the origins of the tree.

Here's the map position relative to WhiteRun.

enter image description here

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Looks like the tree at Sleeping Tree Camp, a giant's camp a fair way to the west of Whiterun, south of Swindler's Den . If you get in the right position near the tree's base, the option "Activate Sap Spigot" will appear. This will give you the potion "Sleeping Tree Sap", which adds 100 points to your health for 45 seconds. Also in the camp is an entrance to Sleeping Tree Cave, which holds a clue about something you can do with the sap...

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