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"I shall enjoy plucking the petals from the wilting flower that is your life! [...] PlantMan! Treacherous Bloom!"
PlantMan.exe, Mega Man Battle Network 3
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Flowers are well-loved for their colorful petals and wonderful smells. Anthropomorphic smiling flowers are commonly seen in Sugar Bowl worlds and other media that Tastes Like Diabetes. As with things such as circuses or Santa Claus, some creators like to subvert this positive portrayal and make it a downright evil character.

Foul Flowers are commonly portrayed as seemingly cute. Though their green, slender stems might look a little sinister, their smiling faces and vibrant petals may be deceptive, allowing them to commit all sorts of horrible acts. They may have cutesy names to go along with their innocent appearances. They are usually found in a Crapsaccharine World, and may instigate a Sugar Apocalypse if they destroy their happy land. Green Thumb is a common power used by them.

This negative portrayal may stem (no pun intended!) from the fact that a few flowers really do have some negative connotations. For example, Rafflesia arnoldii are known for their corpse-like smell, and Cherry Blossoms are used for connotations of death, due to not lasting very long, which reminds people of their own mortality.

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Compare Man-Eating Plant and Botanical Abomination, other villainous plants which are usually portrayed as more Obviously Evil than a Foul Flower. There may be some overlap, though.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man villain The Rose is a crime boss. Although he doesn't use flowers in his costume or weaponry, he is shown to have a fondness for flowers, and wears lilac-colored clothing.

    Film 
  • Jumanji: Some of the things conjured by the magic board game are beautiful purple flowers that shoot poisonous darts, and large yellow ones that try to eat people. Peter narrowly escapes death by the latter, but Judy might not have been so lucky regarding the former.
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    Literature 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The simultaneously beautiful and nightmarish luminous flowers in Morgul Vale. Prolonged exposure drives the victim mad.
  • John Taylor of the Nightside once got sidetracked into an Alternate Universe where all the plant life was like this, and escaped by holding a carnivorous rose hostage. He later handed the rose to a guard he needed to distract, which proved very effective.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batman villain Louie the Lilac made use of mutant plants (including a carnivorous lilac bush) and gave his henchmen flower-themed names.
  • When plant kaiju appear in the Ultra Series, they're usually flower-based.
    • The malformed mutant Greenmons of the original Ultraman was the result of curious scientists experimenting with the Miroganda Flower — a rare but beautiful plant that begins life as a hideous carnivorous plant.
    • Gijera from Ultraman Tiga is a flower-like Eldritch Abomination that only blossoms when Gatanozoa's arrival is near. It produces an addicting pollen that puts humans in a state of hypnotic bliss, making them oblivious to upcoming apocalypse and fight each other over the pollen.
    • Ultraman Taro's first foe Astromons is a reptilian monster with a massive rose on its torso that can consume other kaiju whole, as it does to the sea beast Oil Drinker when it first appears.
    • Juran the Mammoth Flower of Ultra Q is simply a really gigantic flower, except that when it sprouts in the middle of Tokyo, it begins contaminating the air with its poison pollen and attacking people with its bloodsucking vines.
    • The Ultraman Nexus monster Rafleya is a bipedal creature with a flower-like face that sprays a searing pollen which disintegrates victims.

     Tabletop Games 
  • The vampire rose of Basic/Expert/etc "Classic" Dungeons & Dragons is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, putting victims to sleep with a soporific fragrance and draining their blood through hollow thorns. In a nice touch, its white blossoms turn red as it feeds.

    Video Games 
  • One boss in Cuphead is Cagney Carnation, a giant flower. When Cuphead and Mugman encounter him, Cagney gives them an innocent smile, but quickly switches to a wicked Slasher Smile just before attacking the brothers with plant-based minions and an arsenal of seeds (and fuzzies that can make you dizzy if they hit you in the patched version). Also, the accompanying platforming section has sunflower-like monsters that parachute from the sky.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's World: In the minigame "Chica's Magic Rainbow", there are tall sunflowers that shoot out their petals at Chica, creating a Bullet Hell as she must dodge each one, due to being a One-Hit-Point Wonder. The fact that the titular Rainbow is a condescending prick who likes insulting you at every chance she gets doesn't help much, either.
  • In Horatio The Third Senior Manjensen With Knuckles, the first enemies encountered in-game are anthropomorphic flowers with scary faces. Even the signpost that introduces them notes how freaky they look.
  • One of the exhibits in Ib is called "Stubborn Twins", a pair of living rose sculptures found in the Orange Area of the Bonus Dungeon. If Ib tries to walk past the roses without putting them to sleep first, they will snatch her with their vines and munch on her until she loses all her rose petals, resulting in a Game Over.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Organization XIII's Marluxia, the main antagonist of Chain of Memories. As 358/2 Days puts it, "In the arc of his scythe, flowers grow and all else perishes."
  • The talking vine on the Isle of Wonder in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow is cute but lethal and strangles Alexander if he comes too close.
  • Kirby:
    • One common enemy is a smiling flower called Lovely. It waits for Kirby to get close, then grabs him inside its petals, biting him and causing him to take damage until you button mash to escape.
    • In Kirby Super Star Ultra's "Revenge of the King" mode, Lovelies are replaced by creepy-looking roses called Roselies who are just as dangerous and have higher HP.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe takes place in a flower-themed country and the first and last boss fit this theme:
      • The first boss is Flowery Woods, a colorful flower-themed version of recurring boss Whispy Woods.
      • For the final boss, Queen Sectonia possesses the Dreamstalk and transforms into a giant Eldritch Abomination flower.
  • Klonoa has faced two flower bosses in his games, both of which are also Monster Clowns:
    • Lunatea's Veil features a boss called Leptio the Flower Clown, a flower-themed Monster Clown who hides inside a thorny wheel to try and run over Klonoa.
    • In Klonoa Heroes, Klonoa and his friends battle Joka—or so it seems. In the last phase of the battle, Joka turns out to be just a clone, who transforms into a floating, fireball-shooting beast called Flower Joka.
  • Mega Man 6: One of the bosses, Plant Man, is a flower-themed Robot Master with its main ability "Plant Barrier" to manipulate flowers to protect himself.
  • Mega Man X5: Spike Rosered is one of the rogue Reploids called "Mavericks" that you have to fight, and he can manipulate rose vines and petals to attack you.
  • Metroid Prime has Flaahgra, a poisonous plant dwelling in the Chozo Ruins. While it is alive, the water in the ruins is toxic and corrosive. It relies on four discs that reflect sunlight to sustain itself.
  • The fourth movie of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth does this at its deepest level. While most of the dungeon is a disturbingly colorful Crapsaccharine World with everything smiling, the deepest level suddenly takes a turn and reveals flowers with blank, hollow eye sockets tearing blood and making a hollow grin. And there are much more disturbing implications behind this; The entire Labyrinth is actually Hikari's repressed memories taking the form of a biopic and a musical invoked by Doe, which means that the flowers are actually her mindset; That's how she sees her life as thanks to the emotional abuse chain that she experienced in her childhood along with her self-destructive paranoia that her father was against her.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2: The Zombie missions contain three flower bosses: the Sunflower Queen, who looks quite sinister with her pointy petals and glowing eyes, Marigold, which appears as a more minor enemy in other levels, but appears as a boss once to prevent the player from obtaining an important scroll, and the Final Boss, the Royal Hypno-Flower, which looks decidedly less threatening despite its size, but is nonetheless more dangerous than the other two.
  • One of the demons of Shin Megami Tensei is Jezebel, who looks like a mutation between a woman and a flower. In her debut game Devil Survivor, she possessed one of the character's mind and is fought in the middle of a lava lake.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Although Piranha Plants are modeled after Venus Flytraps, there are some, such as recurring boss Petey Piranha, that have a mane of petals, giving them a more flower-like appearance.
    • The Floro Sapiens from Super Paper Mario are a race of sentient walking flowers who brainwash and enslave the caveman-like Cragnons, Subverted when it is revealed that they only turned evil because the Cragnons polluted their water. Once the problem is solved, every Floro makes a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Tolielip, an extremely minor character in Paper Mario 64 is a resident of Flower Fields. He's actually quite knowledgeable about the secrets of Flower Fields, but as his name suggests, he tells the opposite clues.
      • The Paper Mario games also have Crazee Dayzees, cute flower enemies that attack by singing and are also prone to running. There's also a Metal Slime variant known as Amazy Dayzees who not only have massive HP and give gobs of experience when defeated, but also have the highest single attack stat in the game (clocking in at 20 in a game where your maximum HP is unlikely to exceed 50).
  • Yuuka Kazami from Touhou Project is a flower youkai... and one of the oldest and most powerful beings you can find in a setting that includes Physical Gods and Reality Warpers. In the past she has expressed the sentiment that she just considers genocide to be a game, and the official Universe Compendium goes to great leangths to reinforce her position as The Dreaded, smacking her with a Threat Level of "Extemely High," which is typically reserved for Persons Of Mass Destruction, and a Human Friendship Level of "Worst," which is, as it implies, a Friendship Level that only Yuuka is bad enough to deserve. Fandom has nicknamed her the "Ultimate Sadistic Creature" and likes to show her inflicting Disproportionate Retribution on people who disturb her sunflower field.
  • Flowey the Flower from Undertale is a malevolent Faux Affably Evil yellow flower who teaches the protagonist that "in this world, it's kill or be killed", and would have killed them if Toriel hadn't intervened. At the end, it is revealed that Flowey is actually the essence of Prince Asriel that was absorbed by a golden flower, and lacks empathy and love due to the loss of his SOUL. The neutral ending pushes the Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven by turning him into a Botanical Abomination.
  • Wario:
  • Freaky Flower, the first boss of Wiz N Liz, is an enormous flower with a disturbingly realistic human face. It bounces around and tries to crush the player.
  • Zigzagged in the Yoshi's Island games. On one hand, there are some helpful flowers, such as the 5 flowers in each level that Yoshi can collect for bonus points. On the other hand, there are some enemies based on flowers, such as Dizzy Dandies, which pretend to be collectable flowers, then drop to the ground and start rolling at Yoshi when he gets close.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3 features, amongst some Woodland Creatures, a few talking flowers. They, along with the animals, turn out to be part of a hypocritical, idol-worshipping cult.
  • This Drawception game starts out with Flowey and ends up with a flower plotting to murder his family. Which, coincidentally, really is part of Flowey's plan.
  • One Tumblr poster noted that their mother advised them to write and draw how they feel as a way of coping with stress. So the poster drew a smiling flower - saying "I'm going to punch you in the throat."
  • In the web cartoon Bino the Elephant, while exploring Hell, Bino comes across a flower with a face who insists that he pees on her. He refuses, but the doctor on the other side of the comunicator tells him to do it since this is a flower from hell and will probablly be key to open the Chamber of Misery. We thankfully don't see the operation, but we do get to hear from the Doctor's communicator that the flower started crawling inside Bino's urethra... and singing. It's not clear if the flower is evil or just weird, though.

    Western Animation  
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Leslie is a literal living potted plant (which is not the strangest thing in this world). The trope is zigzagged and mostly Depending on the Writer: sometimes he is a straight up Nice Guy, sometimes envious and manipulating (like in "The Triangle" in which he tries to sabotage Darwin's performance), and other times it is subverted (like in "The Flower" which is about Gumball being jealous at him for stealing his girlfriend Penny, not knowing that they actually are cousins).
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey", the Griffins had a racist sunflower growing outside their house that told Cleveland not to come near.
    • In "New Kidney in Town", Lois dumps Peter's Red Bull out the window because she wants him to stop drinking it. It lands on a flower just below the window, mutating it. It then proceeds to hijack a man's car, telling him it's "official flower business."
  • My Little Pony:
    • In My Little Pony 'n Friends, the episode "Fugitive Flowers" gave us the Flories, who start out as cute, pretty talking flowers who beg the protagonists for help... and then reveal themselves to be the true villains of the episode, seeking to drain the ground of life to turn themselves into towering plant monsters, killing everything growing in the earth they drain as they do so.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • Poison Joke, a type of blue flowers found growing in the Everfree Forest, is not evil — it's no more animated than any real flower — but is nonetheless quite dangerous. Anyone who touches it directly will be subject to a random magical transformation that will rob them of the ability to do something they value — essentially a cruel magical joke. The magic prodigy Twilight Sparkle, for instance, loses her ability to perform magic; the speedy athlete Rainbow Dash finds her wings turned backwards, robbing her of the ability to fly straight or reliably; and the talkative Pinkie Pie ends up with a tongue so swollen that she is unable to keep it in her mouth and completely unable to speak.
      • Parodied in in the episode "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?", where an entity called the Tantabus turns ponies' dreams into nightmares. While the other five ponies' dreams involve cakes, dresses, books, apples, and giant bunnies, local Action Girl Rainbow Dash dreams of fighting changelings. When the Tantabus invades her dream, it changes it into a deliberately exaggerated Sugar Bowl parody filled with harmless singing flowers. For Rainbow, who enjoys action and adventure and has consistently disliked anything she perceives as "girly" or "frou-frou", this is utterly unbearable.
      We are such happy flowers
      We will sing for hours and hours,
      Aren't we all unbearably cute?
      Now I'll solo on this flute!
      [a flower plays flute as Rainbow Dash screams in horror]
  • Potted Plant from Wander over Yonder looks like an ordinary potted flower, but is actually a dangerous bounty hunter. Also, it transforms into a big Man-Eating Plant. (Though it still retains its petals and yellow face.)

    Real Life 
  • As mentioned above, while most flowers appear beautiful and smell wonderful to humans, their main purpose is to attract pollinators. If their pollinators happen to be carrion-loving flies, then many will try to appeal to them by looking and smelling like rotting corpses.
    • Given that there weren't yet any bees or butterflies around when flowering plants first evolved, but flies were already plentiful, smelling like rotting flesh or dung is thought to be flowers' original pollination strategy. In fact, many of the same substances that give certain flowers pleasant smells have a foul odour in higher concentrations. For example, Skatole, which smells exactly like what the name implies, also gives orange blossoms and jasmine flowers their sweet, flowery fragrance.
  • While carnivorous plants have elaborate means to attract and capture their food, they don't really count as "Foul Flowers" due to the fact that what they use aren't really their flowers, but modified leaves. In fact, many of these plants grow their flowers far away from their traps so they don't end up capturing and consuming their own pollinators.
  • Invoked by many small predators of insects, which hide inside flowers so they can ambush nectar-hungry prey. Some specialized predators such as mantids or eyelash vipers have evolved to mimic parts of the flowers they lurk within.
  • Just like all wild organisms in general, flowering plants are subject to the rigors of living in the wild. It really is a "Kill or be killed" world and plants had to come up with all kinds of defenses to protect them from predators (herbivorous animals) and competing plants. These range from toxins, spines, irritants and outright chemical warfare.
    • Many ordinary ornamental plants you'd find in someone's flowerbed are toxic, like the foxglove. Obviously, this is a holdover from their chemistry attained in the wild, but can put the families growing them in danger, especially if little kids are running around unattended...

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