Created By: Jubileus57 on December 5, 2017 Last Edited By: Jubileus57 on 4 hours ago

Glowing Flora (launching today if no objections)

Plants (and fungi) that glow in in the dark.

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trope
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/glowingflora.jpg
Yes, Mii games can get some Scenery Porn sometimes.
Flowers and plants are already beautiful by themselves in Real Life, but some creators don't think this is quite enough. And what better way to make them even more alluring that making them glow?

These luminous plants can appear for several reasons. They can bring a distinct alien and strange feeling to the scenery, being a shorthand visual clue that the location displayed is definitely at the very least unusual. Gleaming plants can also be featured in dark areas as Fantastic Light Sources, allowing both the characters and the public to see. And finally, glowing flowers can be used solely for Scenery Porn purposes, since shimmering flora glimmering in the darkest nights can make some definitely gorgeous backgrounds.

Contrary to animals, for which bioluminescence is Truth in Television for some species, plants never display such feature in Real Life, as it would be an utter waste of energy. They don't need to glow to attract preys or to see in the dark, so it would be pointless to waste energy on bioluminescence.

Mushrooms can be used that way too, since fiction almost constantly puts the plants and the mushrooms in the same basket despite them belonging to vastly different life kingdoms. Although this trope when applied to mushrooms could be somehow Truth in Television, though they are nowhere near as bright in Real Life as they are in fiction.

A Sub-Trope to Bioluminescence Is Cool.

Indexes: This Index Glows, Plant Tropes


Examples:

Film Animated
  • The Beast's rose in Beauty and the Beast emits a powerful rose glow. Justified, as it's a magical rose.
  • Glowing mushrooms are used as lighting inside the anthill on A Bug's Life.
  • In Ferngully The Last Rainforest, Zach and Krysta hop on some luminescent shelf fungi.
  • Mrs. Brisby from Don Bluth's animated feature The Secret of NIMH manages to find a gorgeous inner sanctum inside the rosebush. The approach way is lit by the blooms of flowers bedded alongside the path. These blooms go dim and close tightly as Brisby comes near, darkening the area ominously.
  • The Magical Golden Flower in Tangled is a glowing magical lily that can heal every injury.

Film — Live-Action
  • Avatar: The alien jungles of Pandora contain an enormous variety of bioluminescent plants, with almost every form of plant life giving off some blue or purple glow. This results in some very surreal forests, and the nighttime experience is as such rather different from nights on Earth — it's a whole lot less dark, to begin with.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, when the team explores a dark chamber to retrieve the Orb from Ronan, the tree alien Groot expels a cloud of bioluminescent seeds to light the darkness.

Literature
  • In Junction Point, when Liu enters the habitat dome of the alien Rudak, every surface is covered in plant-like life that glows in greens and blues.
  • In Piers Anthony's Xanth novel The Source Of Magic, sunflower blossoms are tiny glowing suns. They give off light equal to daylight that's capable of blinding others. When a sunflower goes to seed, the light fades.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Glowing fungi and lichens appear in the underground settings of several 1st Edition AD&D adventures, including D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits and A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords. They are included to make it easier for PC adventurers to see if they lose their artificial light sources.

Video Games
  • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the mushrooms in Crumble Cavern provide a gentle glimmer that helps to light up the grotto.
  • Don't Starve:
    • The extensive cave systems accessible through sinkholes are home to two types of bioluminescent plants, the mushtrees — tree-sized mushrooms that shine with faint blue, red or green glows, depending on which color variation they come in — and light flowers — true plants that sprout either one, two or three glowing white spheres at the end of tall stalks. Since the caves are otherwise completely lightless, and since in Don't Starve walking into the darkness is an excellent way of dying a horrible death, the occasional groves of mushtrees and light flowers provide invaluable oases of relative safety. The bulbs of light flowers can also be used to craft lanterns, although doing so also means shrinking the size of the permanent illuminated areas.
    • Glow berries, also found in the caves, are a subversion. At first they appear to be a small plant with a fruit that gives off a faint blue light... until you get close, at which point they're revealed to be the stalked, glowing lures of giant wormlike predators using your attraction to light to draw you within striking range.
  • Fallout 4: The Far Harbor expansion introduces the lure weeds, aquatic plants found floating on standing water throughout the Island and — like almost all organisms in the game — heavily mutated by the fallout and other mutagens released during the Great War. Each plant sports one or two tall stalks tipped with flowers or flower-like structures that emit a bright yellow glow, strong enough to be visible during the day. Unfortunately, the structures look a great deal like the lures of the anglers, highly mutated, humanoid anglerfish the size of a person, which have developed the habit of lurking amongst patches of lure weeds, disgusting their own lure as another plant as they wait for prey to walk close.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the flowers in the darkest part of Gloomy Woods glow in a soothing, yellow light. Unfortunately, that doesn't ward the Boos away.
  • Many flowers in the Realm of the Fay in Miitopia start to glow when the night falls, including the gorgeous, giant lotus flowers seen in Lotus Lake and the periwinkles in Bigg Forest.
  • Luminescent mushrooms called Common Glowcaps appear in every mainstream Pikmin game to date, and in 3, its glimmers lighten up dark areas. They are mostly blue, but pink variations have been encountered as well.
  • Invoked in Plants vs. Zombies with the Plantern, a plant shaped like a lantern that emits what looks like candlelight. Its main function is to help you see in foggy levels.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y gave us Pumpkaboo and its evolution Gourgeist, malevolent Jack-O'Lantern Grass/Ghost Pokemons that emit rays of lights from their pumpkin-like bodies.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced the Illuminating Pokemon Morelull and its evolution, Shiinotic. Both are mushroom Grass/Fairy type Pokemon that glow in dark forests and emit flickering spores. Shiinotic, being one of the most malevolent Fairy types, uses these to confuse humans and Pokemon alike so they get lost forever in the forest, where they then hypnotize them and feed on their Life Energy.
  • The Life Fruit Sims can grow in The Sims 3 gently glows and sports a cute little glimmering halo. It can be used as a natural light source on the lot. Supernatural also introduced some varieties of bioluminescent mushrooms.
  • Starbound:
    • Bioluminescence biomes are full of glowing plants, alongside glowing rocks and glowing critters. You can harvest the local flora's "glow fibre" to create glowsticks and glowing furniture to light up your own nights, some of which just consist of potting glowing bushes, flowers and vines to use as nightlamps.
    • Slime biomes are full of glowing slime pods.
    • Florans illuminate their homes with glowing plants that give off a muted green light, instead of using more conventional methods of illumination. Their chief reason for doing this is because, being intelligent plants themselves, they have a profound fear of fire.
    • The ocean floors are lit with glowing "oshrooms", or ocean mushrooms.
  • Several legendary flowers the Miis can groom in the Streetpass Mii Plaza game Flower Town emit glistening lights, namely the Jack-O'Luna, the Neonara, the Goldenglow, the Feisty Fireworks, and the Sparklestar.
  • In Sunless Sea, Varchas, the Mirrored City, harbours an intense aversion towards darkness. Amongst the many light sources found in the city are some omnipresent luminescent "fungal flowers" that grow on its Five Towers. One of the quests has Varchas' main mirror shattered, stripping the town of most of its lights, and the fungi stopped glowing at the same time.
  • In Undertale, a lot of places in Waterfall (and a secret location in Snowdin) contain bioluminescent mushrooms. They can be turned off and on when interacted with.

Webcomics
  • Roza: At one point, the titular character enters a dark tunnel lit only by the faint aquamarine glow of clusters of mushrooms growing throughout it.

Web Original
  • One of SCP Foundation's entries deals with SCP-621 ("Hypnobulbs"). SCP-621 are an anomalous variant of several types of plants, including tulips (particularly Didier's tulips), roses and lettuce. They are naturally bioluminescent in a variety of colors, but most often purple, blue, or green. The glow has a hypnotizing effect on human beings and many types of animals that causes them to protect the plant.

Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • December 5, 2017
    CrypticMirror
    In Men At Arms we are told that all tunnels and caverns have some sort of bioluminescent fungi due to Narrativium in case any human adventurer stumbles in. In this case the narration notes it needn't have bothered because in that instance the adventurers were a dwarf and troll and they both have excellent night vision.
  • December 5, 2017
    Theriocephalus
    All right, a few things.

    Firstly, I think the description should include the narrative uses of this trope. From the examples, I'm guessing this would mostly be used as a vegetable equivalent of Alien Sky, Alien Sea and Alien Landmass (i.e. a visual shorthand to communicate that you're in a strange, alien or unfamiliar place), as Scenery Porn, as naturally occurring illumination in otherwise dark areas or some mixture thereof, yes?

    Secondly, given that three examples out of five are mushrooms, it might also be good to mention that fungi as well as plants are used in this manner as an offshoot of fiction's tendency to treat these two kingdoms of life as one and the same.

    Thirdly, an example of my own:

    Film — Live-Action
    • Avatar: The alien jungles of Pandora contain an enormous variety of bioluminescent plants, with almost every form of plant life giving off some blue or purple glow. This results in some very surreal forests, and the nighttime experience is as such rather different from nights on Earth — it's a whole lot less dark, to begin with.
  • December 5, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    Glowing fungi are Truth In Television, there are many species of mushrooms with bioluminescence.

    Video Games
    • Invoked in Plants Vs Zombies, with the Plantern, a plant shaped like a lantern that emits what looks like candlelight. Its main function is to help you see in foggy levels.
  • yesterday
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. Glowing fungi and lichens appear in the underground settings of several 1st Edition AD&D adventures, including D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits and A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords. They are included to make it easier for PC adventurers to see if they lose their artificial light sources.
  • December 6, 2017
    ginsengaddict
    Oddly enough, I am writing a fantasy series that features this.

    Also, I think some varieties of fungi from the Elder Scrolls series have this.
  • December 7, 2017
    WaterBlap
    No Description = Not A Trope. This is just "glowing plants exist" otherwise.

    How did this get three hats.
  • December 7, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Might be worth noting that bio-luminescence normally occurs only in animals, such as the anglerfish that use it as a prey lure. Plants definitely don't do this, since they need sunlight for photosynthesis, and throwing away radiant energy is suicide; it'd be like a wage-earner flinging dollar bills to passersby, and wondering why he's homeless and starving.

    Film Animated
    • Mrs. Brisby from Don Bluth's animated feature The Secret Of NIMH manages to find a gorgeous inner sanctum inside the rosebush. The approach way is lit by the blooms of flowers bedded alongside the path. These blooms go dim and close tightly as Brisby comes near, darkening the area ominously. Suddenly, the hulking sentry Brutus appears, stave first.
  • December 8, 2017
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Piers Anthony's Xanth novel The Source Of Magic. A sunflower's blossoms are tiny glowing suns. They give off light equal to daylight that's capable of blinding others. When a sunflower goes to seed, the light fades.
  • December 8, 2017
    WaterBlap
    Seriously, this got about five hats before a description was ever added to the draft, so please don't launch it until it gets another five. That seems like it shouldn't have happened...
  • December 8, 2017
    Theriocephalus
    I found (and expanded/reformatted some) a few examples from Bioluminescence Is Cool that look like they should fit:

    Films — Live-Action
    • In Guardians Of The Galaxy, when the team explores a dark chamber to retrieve the Orb from Ronan, the tree alien Groot expels a cloud of bioluminescent seeds to light the darkness.

    Literature
    • Junction Point: When Liu enters the habitat dome of the alien Rudak, every surface is covered in plant-like life that glows in greens and blues.

    Video Games
    • Starbound:
      • Bioluminescence biomes are full of glowing plants, alongside glowing rocks and glowing critters. You can harvest the local flora's "glow fibre" to create glowsticks and glowing furniture to light up your own nights, some of which just consist of potting glowing bushes, flowers and vines to use as nightlamps.
      • Slime biomes are full of glowing slime pods.
      • Florans illuminate their homes with glowing plants that give off a muted green light, instead of using more conventional methods of illumination. Their chief reason for doing this is because, being intelligent plants themselves, they have a profound fear of fire.
      • The ocean floors are lit with glowing "oshrooms", or ocean mushrooms.

    Also, might it be worth mentioning Fantastic Light Source in the description?

  • December 8, 2017
    TonyG
  • December 9, 2017
    Theriocephalus
    Video Games
    • Dont Starve:
      • The extensive cave systems accessible through sinkholes are home to two types of bioluminescent plants, the mushtrees — tree-sized mushrooms that shine with faint blue, red or green glows, depending on which color variation they come in — and light flowers — true plants that sprout either one, two or three glowing white spheres at the end of tall stalks. Since the caves are otherwise completely lightless, and since in Don't Starve walking into the darkness is an excellent way of dying a horrible death, the occasional groves of mushtrees and light flowers provide invaluable oases of relative safety. The bulbs of light flowers can also be used to craft lanterns, although doing so also means shrinking the size of the permanent illuminated areas.
      • Glow berries, also found in the caves, are a subversion. At first they appear to be a small plant with a fruit that gives off a faint blue light... until you get close, at which point they're revealed to be the stalked, glowing lures of giant wormlike predators using your attraction to light to draw you within striking range.
  • December 9, 2017
    Arivne
    • Blue Linked some TV Tropes page names.
    • Examples section
      • Corrected spelling (it's -> its, cariations).
      • Corrected punctuation (deleted unnecessary commas).
  • yesterday
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Shadowrun. Glomoss is a type of Awakened moss that glows with a luminescent green light when there is activity or magic use nearby on the astral plane.

    Web Original
    • SCP-621 ("Hypnobulbs"). SCP-621 are an anomalous variant of several types of plants, including tulips (particularly Didier's tulips), roses and lettuce. They are naturally bioluminescent in a variety of colors, but most often purple, blue, or green. The glow has a hypnotizing effect on human beings and many types of animals that causes them to protect the plant.

    I remember reading about an SCP object that was a plant whose flowers glowed when other anomalous objects/creatures were nearby, but I can't find it on the SCP Foundation website (http://www.scp-wiki.net).
  • yesterday
    Theriocephalus
    I would call this ready to launch, myself. What does everyone else think? Is this ready to stand on its own, could it use some more polishing and/or examples, or does it still have issues that need to be fixed?
  • yesterday
    Theriocephalus
    Video Games
    • Fallout 4: The Far Harbor expansion introduces the lure weeds, aquatic plants found floating on standing water throughout the Island and — like almost all organisms in the game — heavily mutated by the fallout and other mutagens released during the Great War. Each plant sports one or two tall stalks tipped with flowers or flower-like structures that emit a bright yellow glow, strong enough to be visible during the day. Unfortunately, the structures look a great deal like the lures of the anglers, highly mutated, humanoid anglerfish the size of a person, which have developed the habit of lurking amongst patches of lure weeds, disgusting their own lure as another plant as they wait for prey to walk close.

    Webcomics
    • Roza: At one point, the titular character enters a dark tunnel lit only by the faint aquamarine glow of clusters of mushrooms growing throughout it.
  • In Undertale, a lot of places in Waterfall (and a secret location in Snowdin) contain bioluminescent mushrooms. They can be turned off and on when interacted with.
  • yesterday
    eroock
    Since you are creating a subtrope of Bioluminescence Is Cool, make sure on launch you clean out examples from that trope page if they belong on here. Same goes for when doing the cross-wikiing of examples on work pages: move entries under Bioluminescence Is Cool to your trope.
  • yesterday
    DustSnitch
    You may want to check with the Appearance Trope thread before launching this.
  • yesterday
    Jubileus57
    ^ You mean asking tropers on that thread or everything is ok? Or perhaps to clean out some examples?
  • yesterday
    DustSnitch
    The former more than the latter.
  • yesterday
    Jubileus57
    ^ I'm not sure it is an Apparence trope though...
  • yesterday
    DustSnitch
    What do you mean? It's about the visual characteristics of something, so it's an appearance trope. At least, that's how I understand it. I could be wrong, but it is better to check and prove me wrong rather than get in trouble with that thread after you launch.
  • yesterday
    zarpaulus
    Real Life
    • There was a Kickstarter campaign to genetically engineer a glowing houseplant, but they ran into unexpected difficulties and ended up settling for a bioluminescent moss, which got contaminated before they could ship it to backers.
  • 20 hours ago
    Jubileus57
    ^^ From what I understand the appearance trope thread deals with appearnce tropes that sometimes fall in People Sit On Chairs territory (like listing every blond or green-eyed characters when they have no meaning) . Since Glowing Flora doesnt even exist in Real Life (well, except for mushrooms but accidental use of these isn't quite likely), creators cannot put them in works by accident so it is always used with a purpose.

    The other thing it deals with is ZC Es but I personally don't see any.
  • 14 hours ago
    WaterBlap
    What is that purpose, though? This is just Bioluminescence Is Cool but for plants. Note the FAQ in the thread. Hair Of Gold is an example used to describe how "Just having blond hair" isn't a trope, and I think "Just having glowing plants in the work" is also not a trope.

    Moreover, I do see Zero Context Examples. That is, those examples that just say "glowing plants are present in this work" rather than how those glowing plants are used in the work in any kind of meaningful way.
  • 13 hours ago
    Jubileus57
    ^ I see many of these. Scenery Porn by default. Adding a magical, mysterious or alien flair to scenes, backgrounds or specific flowers. Providing lights to caves and caverns that would lack any if not for this flora.

    If that is not enough we could cut Bioluminescence Is Cool altogether then.

    I'll try to expand some examples before launch then.
  • 3 hours ago
    Theriocephalus
    ^ I agree that the purpose is there, I think the main issue is that it may not come through the examples as well as it might. So, you've got a paragraph saying "this trope is used for a, b, c" and a couple more about how it relates to real life, if it does. I think the main thing is working that into the more bare-bones examples. There are a few (mostly in the film sections, I think) that mostly just mention a plant or mushroom is present and glowing, and the main thing now is to add what purpose that specific example is used for.

    Since Bioluminescence Is Cool was brought up, I honestly think this trope has a much stronger sense of purpose than that one, as the draft stands now. Bioluminescence Is Cool's description has a sentence or so mentioning how making things glow makes them cool, but its folders are full of ZCEs. It honestly seems like half its examples are nothing but one or two sentences to the effect of "work A has glowing plants/animals/fungi/aliens/whatever", with nothing visible about how this makes things "cool" (which, for that matter, the description does not actually attempt to define).
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