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Fungi Are Plants

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That typing is ridiculous! What do fairies and mushrooms even have in comm— ohhhh.
Fungi and plants are distinct types of life — fungi are in fact more closely related to animals, and like them, they lack chlorophyll and rely on absorbing nutrients from the outside world rather than making their own through photosynthesis. However the most immediately striking thing about fungi (to a casual observer) is that they're immobile, grow from the ground, and are part of the vegetable section in supermarkets. As such, they've been treated as part of the botanical world for much of history, and fiction often tends to confuse them with plants as well.

Typically, purportedly vegetal and fungal creatures will end up with traits properly belonging to the other category, with fungi and fungus creatures sporting green pigmentation, flowers or leaves and the like. It's also rather common for Plant People and Planimals to draw visual inspiration from fungi in their designs. Often, games that divide their monsters in multiple will also place strictly fungal creatures within the same gameplay category as plants.

Subtrope of Artistic License – Biology and Artistic License – Botany.


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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Saprolings are small, weak creatures intended to represent animated scraps of plant matter. In practice, they alternate on being visibly vegetal, clearly fungal, or of indeterminate appearance between sets. They are also strongly associated with the thallids, which are clearly fungus people.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Certain Plant-type monsters are actually fungi, like Mushroom Man.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Poison Ivy character has occasionally controlled fungi with her Green Thumb, despite her powers explicitly drawing from the Green. In DC lore, this is the mystical force with domain over plants, while fungi fall under the domain of the Grey, a different being.
  • Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things: Lampshaded. Courtney is told to gather plants for a spell and chided for including mushrooms in her findings. This also shows her how using magic to get out of actually learning in her classes would still be to her detriment as a witch.

    Fan Works 
  • World War Etheria: The Heartblossom lets its wielder influence plants and some fungi as well.

  • Lifes Rich Pageant: "The Flowers of Guatemala" focuses on Amanita muscaria fungi, which the lyrics describe as flowers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Fungal enemies, such as the shrieker or violet fungus, are generally listed as belonging to the Plant creature type.
  • Pathfinder:
    • In 1st edition, all fungus-based creatures — such as vegepigmies, moldwretches, violet fungi, and the like — are considered part of the Plant creature type. This is averted in 2nd Edition, which introduces a distinct Fungus type into which these creatures are reclassified.
    • Leshies are a type of small plant people created from spirits inhabiting bodies grown from special plants. Most are based on species of true plants such as broad-leaved trees, Venus flytraps, pumpkins, lotuses, cacti, and so on. The exceptions are fungus and lichen leshies, which are grown from fungal bases.
  • RuneQuest: Mee Vorala, goddess of fungi, is the daughter of Flamal, god of plants, and has the Plant rune.

    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Quest Monsters: The Plant monster family includes the Funghoul, a walking mushroom. This is later averted in the Joker games, where Funghoul is instead classified among the Undead.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The infection that turns humans into mindless spore carriers is fungal in nature — it's specifically identified as an engineered strain of Beauveria, a real-life fungus that does this very thing to insects. Spore carriers, however, are depicted as green-skinned plant people. Their infection is also spread from leafy, flytrap-like "spore plants", and they're consistently associated with botanical experiments and lush plant life.
  • Flower Knight Girl: The titular knights are all thematically based on flowers (or more generally, plants), with some species of mushrooms (Shiitake and Eryngii) being represented as a Flower Knight.
  • Guild Wars 2: The Sylvari are Plant People who all grew from a single tree, but some of them have mushrooms for hair.
  • Jade Cocoon 2: The Leif genus of beasts consists of monsters that resemble giant plants, but also includes three that look like mushrooms: Mash, Mush, and Shroomie.
  • Monster Sanctuary: Fungi is a Mushroom Man that is able to learn the skills Leaf Slash and 1000 Leaves.
  • Ōkami: The game requires players to raise the sun to encourage mushroom platforms to grow as if they were plants that rely on photosynthesis. Mushrooms are also affected by the Greensprout's "bloom" technique, which helps plants heal and grow.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Various kinds of mushrooms are among the titular "plants" that players can grow on their lawns. The catch is, they're nocturnal, and are only useful when it's night out (unless you give them a Coffee Bean).
  • Pikmin 2: The large patches of white fungus that can be found growing over and covering berry-producing plants in certain areas of the game are referred to by the ship as a "moldlike botanical entity", and it also reports that it can detect "other plant life" suffocating beneath it.
  • Pokémon: Several Pokémon, such as the Paras, Shroomish, Foongus, and Morelull lines, are based on fungi of various types, being either animal/mushroom mixes or simply ambulatory toadstools. They're also all Grass-types.
  • Queen's Tales: To solve a puzzle, the heroine uses the nightingale's song — which can make plants grow and bloom — on some tree fungi so that they may enlarge.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon: In Charmed Ridge, there's an area based around Jack and the Beanstalk where the "Jack" in question offers you various magic beans Spyro needs to use to reach the golden goose. One type of bean grows into flower platforms, while the other grows into bouncy mushrooms and works exactly the same as all other seed/plant-based puzzle elements.
  • Viva Pińata: The journal places the toadstool in the plants section, and it even grows from planted seeds! Strangely (and thankfully), its tinkered form, mushrooms, are excluded.

    Web Original 
  • Life Around a Red Dwarf: The Purpungos looks at first glance like an underwater mushroom thanks to its broad, bell-shaped "head", but it has purple chlorophyll for absorbing energy from sunlight like a plant. It's technically neither, as it's a Starfish Alien on a Tidally Locked Planet orbiting a red dwarf star.
  • In the Looming Gaia universe, mushrooms are considered to be plants, and there's even mushroom limniads (plant nymphs).

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: In "Camp Fear" the mind-controlling fungus tries to persuade Ben in Wildvine form to join it as a "fellow plant".

    Real Life 
  • Historically, fungi have been treated as plants and studied under botany because of their outward similarities to plants. While mycology has been recognized as a distinct field of science from botany and zoology, it's still common for fungi to be placed under flora sections of nature books and field guides.
  • Mushrooms are typically found in the produce sections of grocery stores alongside fruits and vegetables and are eaten by vegans and vegetarians.