Plant creatures (Dungeons & Dragons)

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The Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game contains many plant creatures that are composed of vegetable material, but unlike normal plants these monsters may be carnivorous, intelligent, mobile, or any combination of the three. In the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, plant creatures have the plant "creature type".

In 3rd edition, all plant creatures have low-light vision. Plant creatures have a wide array of immunities,[1]including being immune to: all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning. They are also not subject to critical hits.

Assassin vine[edit]

Assassin vine
Alignment Neutral
Type Plant
Image image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Source books Monster Manual

The assassin vine is a dangerous plant which grows both in and underground. It is basically a tree which uses its vines to kill victims and deposit the bodies near the roots for fertilizer. It consists of a main vine attached to the tree, about 20 feet (6.1 m) long, with smaller, 5-foot-long (1.5 m) vines breaking off. It has both leaves and berries. The berries have a bitter taste and are used to make a heady wine despite being widely believed to be poisonous. The underground version of the assassin vine is darker in coloration to the ground dwelling one.[2]

Dark tree[edit]

Dark tree
Alignment Neutral Evil
Type Plant
Image image
Publication history
Source books Shining South (3.5E), Monsters of Faerûn, Monstrous Compendium Annual 1, The Shining South

The dark tree resembles a cypress tree, but in its bark is a fiendish, evil-looking face, and two of its branches are gnarled, wooded, spindly arms.

The dark tree dwells in warm jungles and waits for intelligent creatures to wander into its midst. It attacks in whatever way it can with its two arm-branches, and once its prey is dead, it drinks their blood.

Dark trees are neutral evil in alignment.

Hangman tree[edit]

Hangman tree

The hangman tree resembles a sparsely foliaged, deciduous oak with noose-like vines hanging from the branches, hence the name. Though plants, they are highly intelligent, and are capable of speaking Common, have minds and consciousnesses, and are resistant to magic. They can sense when prey is near, hibernate in the winter, and can attack and such with wills of their own.

Hangman trees, having few leaves and shallow root systems, need to catch prey. They release on will a hallucinatory perfume when victims are in the vicinity, which makes them mistake the Hangman tree for a normal tree, or even a treant. Victims then come near, and, as can probably be guessed, the hangman tree drops its nooses around the necks of the victims, strangles them, and then lifts them up and drops them into an opening which leads into their stomachs at their tops.

Hangman trees are regarded as neutral in alignment, despite distinctly evil habits.[3]


Main article: Myconid

Oaken defender[edit]

Oaken defender
Publication history
First appearance Monster Manual IV

The Oaken defender resembles an enormous (30 feet (9.1 m) across) disk made of dirt, wood, moss and dry leaves, with six vine-like tentacles protruding from the rim at roughly equal intervals. The topside of the disk has what looks like a huge, angry face made of stumps and roots set into it. Oaken defenders appeared in the Monster Manual IV.

Oaken defenders live in dryad groves and assist in the defense of such places. They spend most of their time sleeping dormant, just beneath the soil and leafy canopy of their habitat, but sense when they or their grove is being oppressed, and rise out of the ground to defend them. They attack with brute strength, and with their 6 woody tentacles. Their enormous mouths are not used for combat, only for feeding. The two "eyes" set into the face on the top of the disk are not actually eyes, but heat sensitive lumps which can detect movement and allow them to see almost as if they were not blind.

Oaken defenders speak crude Sylvan.

They are regarded as neutral in alignment.

Phantom fungus[edit]

Phantom fungus
Image image
Stats Open Game License stats

The phantom fungus is a dangerous plant which lives underground. It has a central, plantal, greenish-brown body with a large, toothed mouth and four stumpy legs. Growing from its shoulders are 6 (3 on each side) clusters of 6 tubular nodules arranged in a hexagonal shape. Coming from the holes between each of the 6 nodules in a cluster, is a long, pink, clawed tentacle.[4]

When in its natural habitat (fungal caves) the phantom fungus blends in perfectly and can barely be seen. This means it is invisible except when dead. Its primary goal in life is to hunt, grappling victims with its nodule tentacles and bringing them to its mouth.

They cannot speak.

They are regarded as neutral in alignment.

Shambling mound[edit]

Main article: Shambling mound

The shambling mound is a fictional plant-like creature, also called a shambler, a name which lends itself to the eponymous magic spell.


The shrieker resembles a large fungus. The shrieker shares a symbiotic relationship with the violet fungus in order to catch food. The shrieker emmits a high-pitched wail to lure prey, and when it comes, the violet fungi attack with their tentacles.


Image image
Stats Open Game License stats

The tendriculos is an enormous, savage, sentient plant. It resembles a huge, tangled shrubbery, with a gaping mouth at the front, vines hanging from the chest and attaching to the ground, and two large, foliage covered tentacles coming from the sides.[5]

The tendriculos is a monster which desires only to consume as much as it can in the shortest time it can. Though it can eat pretty much anything organic, it prefers live meat. It attacks ravenously anything which moves with its deadly tentacles, grappling, constricting, and moving them to its crushing mouth to swallow them whole. The tendriculos can blend in with other plants and be stealthy if it needs to, but can rarely be bothered. Animals and plants of the forest are greatly unnerved by the presence of this heathen plant. They avoid it and anywhere it has been for the last 24 hours.

Tendriculi cannot speak.

They are regarded as neutral in alignment.


Main article: Treant

Treants are sentient trees with human characteristics. They are typically portrayed as protectors of the forests and antagonists to industrialization and despoiling of nature. They are typically allies of druids and fey, opposing malicious races such as orcs.


Further information: Vegepygmy

Violet fungus[edit]

The violet fungus resembles a large, purple fungus with tentacles. The violet fungus shares a symbiotic relationship with the shrieker in order to hunt. The shrieker emmits a high-pitched wail to lure prey, and when it comes, the violet fungus attacks with its tentacles.[6]


Alignment Any
Type Plant
Image image
Publication history
Source books Unapproachable East

"Volodni" are a plant race that was introduced in the 3rd edition rules in the Unapproachable East source book for the Forgotten Realms role-playing game.[7]

Wood woad[edit]

The wood woad is a plant. They resemble big, burly, bestial men made entirely of wood and bark bearing no foliage. They always carry part of a tree trunk for a shield and a large branch for a club. They are similar to treants.[8]

Characteristics and habits[edit]

Wood woads are brutish and dim-witted, but are not actually evil, being merely protective of small patches of forests and having little interest in affairs outside of their own. If harm comes to their forest, however, they become deadly and curious opponents. The creatures have the ability to bend and warp wood with their minds to make walls and doors and barriers, and typically use this ability to create obstacles for their foes while the Wood woad closes in to bash them with its branch club. Wood woads are also capable of entering trees, much like a dryad (some view them as the masculine, aggressive, more bestial equivalent of Dryads), and can also teleport between tree to tree in their territory.

Wood woads speak a rudimentary form of Sylvan.

They are regarded as neutral in alignment.

Plants from the Tome of Horrors[edit]

Plants from other sources[edit]


  • Chamberlain, Gregg. "The Ecology of Carnivorous Plants." Dragon #137 (TSR, 1988).