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Plant Person
The technical term is "Sexual Dimorphism". In Troper, this would be Ugly Guy, Hot Wife.

The Plant Person is a bridge between the Plant and Animal Kingdoms, being able to talk to plants (or at least understand them at an empathic level) and people alike. Their wisdom can be profound and alien, coming as it does from a plant rather than animal (let alone human) point of view. Biologically, he or she is either a motile plant or a person with a lot of plant-like characteristics: they may be able to photosynthesize their own food, drink water from their feet, and even regrow severed limbs. If they lean more towards the animal, they probably still need to eat, but it may be "nutrients" or dirt rather than cheeseburgers (though they just might; hey, at least it isn't people).

They can usually claim without irony that they are "one with nature", living in forests and surrounded by life. They might be a mystical Dryad, a scientist who fell into a vat of chemicals (or a mystical plant god who thinks he did), or a race of motile plants that just happens to look very human by accident, by design, or by design. Despite generally having a human shape, they may or may not be able to casually pass for human. This is because they tend to have green or barky skin, leaves for hair and dress in Garden Garments. Interestingly, there is a big disparity between male and female plant people, as the page image shows. Perhaps stemming from the classical Dryad, plant people tend to be women, and very attractive ones at that. Men, on the other hand, take more after trees than humans.

In a story, they are usually a Nature Hero, or at least have great value in nature. They may also be a hermit or sage that advises the heroes. In extremes, they may be a Knight Templar of an eco terrorist... that can call killer trees on a whim and snare you in vines, all while making their lost forest inescapable.

Expect them to have Fertile Feet, and feel the effects of deprivation when removed from natural environments for long. They usually function as a Fisher King in whatever area they inhabit; poisoning them or the forest has a reciprocal effect.

See also Green Thumb, Wise Tree, When Trees Attack, Plant Aliens, Man-Eating Plant, and Nature Spirit. For plant-animal hybrids see Planimal. Contrast Beast Man. Also, when Rule 34 is invoked, expect the being to be called an 'Alraune'.

Examples:

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    Advertising 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Green Legend Ran.
  • The main character of Verdant Lord.
  • Trigun has Vash and Knives plus a few other nameless ones who mostly are used to generate power. The nameless ones are humanoid in shape, but apparently are unable to communicate with normal humans.
    • The term "Plant" in this context is far more likely to be an allusion to the concept of a "Power Plant" than an actual, biological plant. When one considers what most plants are used for and their nigh-supernatural abilities, this makes far more sense.
  • Cheza from Wolf's Rain
  • Nowhere Boy has a plant person as one of the 12 Apostles.
  • The Druids from Origin: Spirits of the Past.
  • Count D from Petshop Of Horrors. He tends to sprout vines when he's bleeding.
  • Mandrakes from Those Who Hunt Elves are tiny green elves with a rose-like flower and two leaves growing out of their heads. They sleep buried to the base of the flower in dirt. They also screech at you if you pick them.
  • Zetsu from Naruto. At least the White half and a good part of Tobi's current and Madara's pre-death body were made from a non-sentient clone of the First Hokage.
  • Cosmo in Sonic X. Her species is called "Seedrians" for a reason.
  • Ayame and Momiji from Osamu Tezuka's Lost World. They are plants given intelligence through bioengineering and then grown into a humanoid shape in molds before being covered with artificial skin so as to pass for human. Another intelligent plant shows up in an early Astro Boy story, a tentacled flower piloting a Mobile-Suit Human.
  • Saibamen from Dragon Ball in a sense considering they grow from seeds in the ground.
  • Mokuren Nagai from Flame of Recca have the ability to control plants to the extent that he even can become a tree/human hybrid.
  • Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas has Osiris, who is initially just a plant made by a mad alchemist.
  • Mamoru Onodera of Deadline Summonner has an Alarune in his Battle Harem.

    Asian Animation 
  • The 2012 Chinese animated series Kodama [1] has humanoid plant spirits as a major element of the show. They can be powerful characters despite of their small size and cutesy appearance.

    Comic Books 
  • The Green Man from Astro City.
  • He appears very much an animal, but in some of his incarnations, Superman has quite a few plant-like characteristics, up to and including drawing actual sustenance from the Sun, not from food. Occasionally he likes to pig out on junk for the taste, though.
  • Poison Ivy from Batman is a borderline case, depending on the medium. When she first appeared in the comic books, she was merely a murderous seductress with a plant motif. Later on, she took on the persona of an "eco-terrorist" with a little mad scientist thrown in. In current comics continuity, Poison Ivy has been physiologically part-plant since The Floronic Man's initial experiments. Initially, she only had to ability to exude plant-based poisons from her own body and was immune to all poisons. Through the years, she has developed the ability to control plants (size, shape and movement and, occasionally, behavior if one of her hybrids has a level of sentience) and her physiology has changed dramatically so that she now resembles a plant, down to the fact that her costume, once a leafy one-piece bathing suit, now consists of her own leaves]] arranged in an acceptable fashion on her body. She exhibits more or less plant-like qualities depending on the artist, but these qualities are generally constant. In Swamp Thing, she is described as having a link to a mystical/elemental being called "The May Queen", but this is rarely mentioned. A link to a force (much like the Speed Force in The Flash) called "The Green" is implied as well, and she can use this to communicate with others over long distances via plants.
  • Marvel Comics' the Man-Thing, now a member of the Thunderbolts.
  • DC Comics' the Swamp Thing.
  • Following the success of the Swamp Thing, Black Orchid was retconned to also be a Plant Person. Noticeably though, while the later two Orchids are more plant than human, they can't control plants or flowers and their powers are primarily Glamour and pheromone manipulation.
  • Atom and Swamp Thing villain Jason Woodroe; The Floronic Man
  • Swamp Thing and Man-Thing are both Captain Ersatzes of a Golden Age comic monster called The Heap.
  • In Marvel Comics: Groot, king of Planet X. A giant tree-shaped alien, he was originally a 1950's Monster of the Week, and is currently a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Cactusman a villian in the Desperate Dan strip in The Dandy.

    Film 
  • The plant-based Jinn in Epic .
  • Tabanga (AKA Baranga) the Tree-Monster in the 1957 B-movie, From Hell It Came.
  • The Big Bad in Men In Black II is a form of a plant and takes form of a Victoria's Secret model.

    Literature 
  • Dryads also show up in Narnia. Lewis describes them in great detail. Such as Birch dryads as looking like slender girls with showery hair, dressed in silver and fond of dancing, beech dryads as looking like gracious, queenly, goddesses dressed fresh transparent green, and oak dryads as looking like wizened old men with warts, gnarled fingers, and hair growing out of the warts.
  • Ents in The Lord of the Rings are living trees.
  • Parodied in Bored of the Rings with the Vee-Ates, an army of fruits and vegetables on the warpath. They are led by Birdseye, a parody of the Green Giant (See Advertising, above).
  • Nym from The Wheel of Time are "constructs" made of vines and leaves and such. They have Fertile Feet and Green Thumb abilities.
  • Top Secret, a children's book about a boy who does a science project about "human photosynthesis," turning himself into a green-skinned plant-person.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead, the Pequeninos start their lives as mammals, then the males transform themselves into sentient trees upon death as part of their life cycle (females do this too, but much more rarely, and only to start new communities or to replace a dying Mother Tree). The transformation is actually required for their system of reproduction. In fact, it turns out every native life-form on their planet has an element of this: the snakes and the river reeds, the cows and the high grass, etc
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Zelosians, human-shaped plant aliens who can live for a month on sunlight and water. Death Star has one named Celot Ratua Dil.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Mi-Go are described as intelligent fungus. Also, the Old Ones (the tentacled barrel-shaped dudes from Antarctica) are described as having both plant and animal traits.
  • Goose Bumps had one in the book Stay Out of the Basement, of which it is the main plot point.
  • Philip Jose Farmer's Dark is the Sun has Sloosh, one of a species of plant-centaurs.
  • The stingbulbs from the Fablehaven series start out as little fruits, but if you prick your finger on one, it turns into an exact replica of you. It's not a perfect copy, though—a few memories are missing, it doesn't necessarily think and act like you (it obeys the orders it receives after transformation), and it only lives for a few days.
  • In Dorothy And The Wizard Of Oz they run into a race of plant people called the mangaboos.
  • The kodama from Return to Neverend are a dryad-like race. Kell is a unique example, and is quite violent.
  • What everyone becomes after they die in Pentexore in Dirge for Prester John. The bodies of the dead are planted and become trees.
  • According to in-universe myth from Flower of Kamaleynik by Olga Gromyko, all living beings in the world are these, grown by The Maker Goddess from the seeds of titular vine. A certain priest of her has shown the ability to be resurrected from the dead by having his soul stored and new body grown and, more impressively, to transform inanimate objects into living creatures.
  • In Aprilynne Pike's Wings Quartet, faeries are basically sentient plants. The "wings" that legends say that they have are actually flower blossoms.
  • The gardener in Ssalia and the Dragons of Avienot takes care of numerous talking plants and is very plant-like himself (gnarled, tree-like skin and cotton grass hair), though to what degree he actually is a plant (or what kind of creature he is) is never made clear.
  • The alien crew of Rod Albright Alien Adventures includes Phil (last name O'Dendron), the science officer who looks for all the world like an oversized sunflower in a rocket-boosted flowerpot. When Rod expresses surprise at sentience, he responds, "And you're made of meat. It's amazing you can think at all." Because he's a plant, he doesn't register on life-signs detectors, which has come in handy on a few occasions when some threat has captured the crew without realizing he was in the ship.

    Live Action TV 
  • Tybo the Giant Carrot Man on the Lost in Space episode "The Great Vegetable Rebellion". Technically a Plant Alien, but considering he's planning on turning the Robinsons into plants, and he's practically a Rubber Forehead Alien...
  • Creepshow has Stephen King playing a bumpkin who touched a meteor turning into a plant creature, but it wasn't a pleasant thing.
  • Zhaan in Farscape is plant-based and experiences rapture during solar flares. She can't actually talk to plants, though, and thinks of them the same way humans might a very stupid ape.
  • Lyekka (and possibly Wist) from Lexx.
  • Violet from The Outer Limits revival episode Flower Child.
  • Ficus the "vegeton" first officer from Quark
  • The Papay from the Tin Man miniseries, which resemble bipedal, leafless aspen thickets.
  • Doctor Who has Jabe, from the Forest of Cheem, is a surprisingly sexy tree-lady.
  • Goose Bumps: see Literature above.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger has Mandora Boy, a living mandrake who gives advice to the Magirangers

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Mutant UA, mutants (humans as well as furry humanoid animals) can have photosynthesis as one of their mutations. This make their skin/fur green and capable of feeding on sunlight.
  • Dungeons & Dragons of course, has several species of plant people, including Treants and Dryads.
  • In the Glorantha setting for Runequest, elves are sentient humanoid plants.
  • One of the mutations in Gamma World was Photosynthetic Skin, which allowed the mutant possessing it to produce their own food and heal lost Hit Points at 4x normal rate if in sunlight. Another option is to be an out-and-out human-shaped plant.
  • GURPS Bio Tech has a nanovirus that turns affected humans into plant people. The GURPS Supers and Powers supplements also include rules and options for creating a plant person character.
  • Villains And Vigilantes adventure There's a Crisis at Crusader Citadel. One of the Crusaders NPCs is Evergreen, who has the plant powers of poison and plant control.
  • In Warhammer, that part of the Wood Elf army which isn't Fragile Speedsters is composed pretty much entirely of plant people, ranging from Dryads (human-sized, spikey, made of wood) to Treemen (like Dryads, only much bigger).
  • The Sylvan archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh!, which includes the humanlike Bladefender and Flowerknight.

    Mythology 
  • Dryads appeared in Classical Mythology, so this is Older Than Feudalism.
  • The Green Man.
  • Swedish (and probably Scandinavian) folklore has the Skogsrĺ (which means roughly "forest ruler" or "magical being of the forest" depending on etymology), a kind of "pseudo-troll" who often appears as a very beautiful woman who tries to lure men deep into the woods. She was discernable from real people because her back was made of - in most versions a hollowed-out - tree.

    Video Games 
  • Star Control 2 has the Supox, a race of sentient, omnivorous plant people.
  • The Elder Scrolls has Dryads as enemies. Although they're either non-sapient or extremely xenophobic.
    • There are also the Spriggans. In Oblivion, they looked more like attractive women with botanical features. In Skyrim, they are quite literally person-shaped trees. They are described as nature guardians, which puts them at odds with the Hagravens as they despise nature.
  • Spar in Breath Of Fire 2, Peco in Breath Of Fire 3.
  • Fallout 2 and 3 have Harold, an NPC ghoul with a tree he calls Bob growing out of his head. In the latter game, the tree has completely absorbed him, and his organs are distributed throughout its root system.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has Spore Carriers, humans that have been taken over by parasitic Bacteria in an experiment to genetically engineer plant spores. The Old World Blues DLC reveals that they originated from the Big MT R&D Facility and that the Think Tanks are responsible for them, amongst many other horrifying things in the game.
  • Bracken in Dungeon Siege.
  • The Dendroids from Heroes of Might and Magic III, and the Treants from V
  • The Kikwi, Deku and Koroks in The Legend of Zelda series. While they look like Hylian children, the Kokiri might actually be plant people as well, as they were given life by the Deku Tree and eventually become the Koroks.
  • EVA in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater speculates that The End's unusual amount of stamina might be due to photosynthesis. Later, upon one of his many possible deaths, The End's skin actually does transform into bark.
  • In the Thief series, Viktoria initially appears human but is actually a dryad of some sort, able to create long stabbing/entangling vines from her fingertips, and has bark-covered skin and glowing red eyes. She's one of the heads of the Pagans and all of them have a huge affinity for plants and wild things.
  • The title species of Pikmin, of course.
  • Lilligant from Pokémon, based off a Dryad. She's always female, too.
  • The Dryads, the Treants, and the Alura Une/Venus Weed monsters from the Castlevania series.
  • The goddess Melandru from Guild Wars.
  • Resident Evil 2 has the Ivy monsters. They were the end product of using the T-Virus to genetically splice together plant and animal DNA. They are humanoid, which suggests the animal in question was or included human DNA. They are slow, but pack quite a punch and soak up punishment like Miracle-Gro.
  • Mass Effect has the Thorian, an extremely old and extremely intelligent plant organism living on Feros. It looks nothing like a human... more like a giant bulb of fleshy stuff with tentacle-like roots going off in every direction. It is also a villain, and uses spores to mind-control other creatures living around it. It can only speak through plant-based clones of individuals it has absorbed, which it can create within itself and then spit out to do its bidding.
  • The Alraune monsters in the Disgaea series.
  • In The Sims 2, with the addition of the Seasons expansion pack, it is possible to have "Plant-Sims". If a Sim uses too many pesticides, they turn into a "Plant-Sim". Instead of the usual needs, they only need water, light, and social. They can also reproduce asexually by shaking spores out of the leaf clusters that replace their hair. (Toddlers who are turned into Plant-Sims have a large daisy on top of their heads instead of the leaf clusters that older Plant-Sims have...which is kind of disturbing considering that flowers are a plant's reproductive parts.)
    • The Sims 3 brought Plant-Sims back with the University Life add-on.
  • The majority of Maverick bosses from the Mega Man X series are based on animals and mythological creatures (there's also one mushroom). However, the remaining 4 are based on plants. First, there's Wire Spongenote  from Mega Man X2, Axle the Red from X5 (who is based on a rose), Tornado Tonion from X7 (you read that correctly. A Maverick based on an onion, of all things), and Optic Sunflower from X8.
  • Parappa The Rapper has Sunny Funny, an anthropomorphic flower. Her father, General Potter, is a humanoid potted plant. And of course, there's Chop Chop Master Onion.
  • Zyra, the Rise of the Thorns from League of Legends is really an ancient, massive carnivorous plant who, in an attempt to escape its own inevitable death by starvation, consumed a female human mage and rebirthed itself into an alluring feminine humanoid form who wields powerful plant-based magic revolving around thorns and vines.
  • Florans in Starbound are mostly hostile tribal warriors who treat living creatures, sentient races included, with the kind of lack of empathy we show to plants. They're also cannibalistic and not especially bright, even the floran PC's investigate quotes make them seem like a Man Child.
  • Funguy, Neo Fio and Turnip from Chrono Cross.
  • Mind Snares: Alice's Journey has a tree with male and female faces which act as distinct entities. The male portion is called Animus and the female portion is called Anima, and they consider each other lovers.

    Webcomics 
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Marcia Sutton is a dryad. Ysengrin is also almost a plant person: as a gift from Coyote, he has the ability to command all the plants of the forest, and he wears magic Power Armor made from trees, which might not seem like much of a fit for this trope until you see what he looks like without it...
  • In Chirault, pretty much all trees are sapient and dangerous to cross, but most of them are inactive.
  • Dryads are a major race in Felarya.
  • Mr. Geranium from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is a particularly ridiculous example. He's literally a potted geranium who gained sentience and super-powers in a freak accident. Probably the single most absurd element in the comic, he's only appeared once since his introduction.
  • Audrey of Life Sketch. A shameless reference to Little Shop of Horrors, right down to the thirst for human blood.
  • Guilded Age has Syr'Nj and other Wood Elves who refer to most bodily parts as their plant equivalents and apparently can drink through their taproots (aka toes).
  • Earth in Planetary Moe is described as having a flower sticking out from his/her head, which would kill the planet if it was ever removed.
  • Karate Bears were around back when there were still Dryads.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Darkwing Duck: Dr. Reginald Bushroot.
  • The Wuts from The Dreamstone are an entire race of Plant People.
  • Parodied in an episode of American Dad! where a hippie wants to become a tree. He is always shown standing in a plant pot and talks about getting surgeries that will turn him into a plant.
  • Flora from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors was born from a blossom created by the hero's father Audric.
  • Phylosians from Star Trek: The Animated Series are Plant Aliens.
  • Poison Ivy in Batman: The Animated Series created artificial plant people to assist her schemes in several episodes (plus the episode in which she developed a way to punish her enemies by turning them into [inanimate] trees).
    • Then the Batman Adventures spin-off comic said that the pale-skinned Ivy in the revamp was another artificial plant person, and that the real Ivy was fully human and off doing her own thing somewhere else.
  • The Plant Man from the Flapjack episode of the same name.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants' Mr. Seaweed Monster Man
  • Thundercats 2011 has the Petalars, adorably Lilliputian li'l plant people/Plant Aliens who live about a day.
  • The Sadida class in the Wakfu series and associated video game have green hair (and, in the males' case, green fur) and brown skin, have literal cabbage patch kids, and turn into stumps when they die.


PlanimalPlant TropesPlant Theme Naming
Nature SpiritSliding Scale of AnthropomorphismPlant Aliens
Planet of HatsOlder Than FeudalismPlatonic Cave
PlanimalFantastic FloraWhen Trees Attack
The Pirates Who Don't Do AnythingCharacters as DevicePlaying Cyrano
PlanimalFantastic Sapient Species TropesRock Monster
Phony VeteranAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Pointless Civic Project
Swamp ThingImageSource/Comic BooksTales from the Crypt
PlanimalIndex of Fictional CreaturesPrehistoric Monster

alternative title(s): Plant People
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