List of fictional plants

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This list of fictional plants describes invented plants that appear in works of fiction.

In fiction[edit]

In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth[edit]

  • Aeglos: a plant similar to a gorse, named for the Elvish 'snow-thorn'[4]
  • Athelas: a healing plant with long leaves (also known as Kingsfoil or asëa aranion)[4][5][6]
  • Elanor: a small star-shaped yellow flower from Tol Eressëa and Lothlórien[4]
  • Mallorn: a huge tree with green-and-silver leaves turning golden in autumn and remaining so till spring,[4] upon which the Elves of Lothlórien housed[7]
  • Nimloth: the White Tree of Númenor, a seedling of Celeborn, a seedling of Galathilion, created in the image of Telperion[T 1][T 2][4]
  • Niphredil: a small white flower from Doriath and Lothlórien[4]
  • Pipe-weed: "a strain of the herb nicotiana" (tobacco), varieties mentioned include Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, Southern Star, grown in the Shire, and Southlinch, from Bree[8][9]
  • Oiolairë: an evergreen fragrant tree highly esteemed by the Númenóreans[4][10]
  • Simbelmynë: a white flower that grew in Gondolin and Rohan (also known as Evermind and Alfirin)[4][11]
  • Valinor, Two Trees of: magic trees that illuminated the Blessed Realm in ancient times[4]

In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series[edit]

The Queen Beech or Harry Potter tree (now fallen). This real 400 year old pollarded tree in Frithsden Beeches on Berkhamsted Common "played" (with a bit of CGI tweaking) the Whomping Willow in the Harry Potter film The Prisoner of Azkaban. In 1866, it was at the centre of the Battle of Berkhamsted Common. It was also noted by the naturalist Richard Mabey in his book "Beechcombings".[12]
  • Leaping toadstool.
  • Gillyweed: seaweed-like plant which, when you eat it, allows you to breathe underwater for a short period of time. You also temporarily grow fins and flippers.
  • Gurdyroot: resembles a green onion. Basis for a foul-tasting purple infusion brewed by the Lovegoods in order to fend off Gulping Plimpies.[13][14] Considered not very original by Charles Elliott, depending on a funny name for effect.[15]
  • Mandrakes: tubers that look like babies when young. Their screams can kill when fully grown. A potion made from mature mandrakes can restore victims who have been petrified. A different kind of mandrake is a real plant. Whilst the mandrake as it appears in the books and films is fictional, J. K. Rowling's description does reflect genuinely held beliefs about the mandrake, in particular, the danger surrounding its screams. This led to the practice of using dogs to collect the mandrake and the blocking of ears during collecting.
  • The Whomping Willow: a tree which has club-like branches which can move. The Whomping Willow is very hostile in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book; Harry Potter and Ron Weasley crash into it with a car, and are lucky to escape alive. There is a secret passage that leads into the Shrieking Shack, a haunted house, underneath the Whomping Willow's roots.
  • The Devil's Snare: a vine that prefers to grow in damp and dark areas and tangles its victims to death. Used by Professor Sprout as one of the protective measures to protect the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Dittany: a herb with powerful medicinal properties.
  • Mimbulus mimbletonia: a Cactus-like plant.
  • Chinese Chomping Cabbage: a flesh eating plant featured in Hogwarts Legacy game.
  • Venoumous tentacula.
  • Fanged Geranium.
  • Honking Daffodil.
  • Bobutuber: a slug like plant whose essence is useful in treating pimples.
  • Dirigible plum: a tree, whose fruits (plums) grow upside down, appearing to float.
  • Snargaluff: a flesh eating tree.

In Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere Series[edit]

On the planet Roshar (The Stormlight Archive)
  • Firemoss: A red-brown moss that, when activated by rubbing between the thumb and forefinger, releases wisps of smoke that create feelings of euphoria when inhaled and is used as a recreational drug.[16] Firemoss is highly addictive, limiting its medicinal use, though it is sometimes used to reduce cranial swelling[17] and offer pain relief.[18]
  • Knobweed: Like most of the plants found on Rohsar, knobweed has adapted to survive the planet's harsh storms. The reed-like stalk anchors itself directly to stone and the frond found at the top of the stalk has the ability to contract and retreat into the stalk during storms for protection. Knobweed reproduces by releasing fluffy pappuses that carry seeds into the air. The milky white sap found inside knobweed stems is a natural and highly valuable antiseptic used in the field and by established apothecaries.[17]
  • Prickletac: Prickletac plants are actually colonies of much smaller living buds. As each generation of buds dies it converts to a hard, stony material which the next generation builds upon.[18] Prickletac's reproductive system is based on this oddity – when a 'limb' grows too large it breaks off and falls to the ground, scattering living buds. Also known as Twisted Spine.[19]
  • Rockbuds: Rockbud is both a general term for several shelled plants on Roshar, including Lavis Polyps, Vinebuds, and Prickletac Shrubs, and the proper name for a specific plant. The true Rockbud plant is a shelled plant containing lengthy tendrils that reach out to lap up water (and occasionally animal blood).[17] The size of fully grown rockbuds depends largely on climate. In colder climates they grow no larger than a human fist, while rockbuds in warm climates can grow to the size of a barrel.[18] Rockbuds are harvested for consumption, limited medicinal uses, and paper making.
  • Shalebark: A class of stony, fanlike plants often used for decoration and landscaping.[17]
On the planet Nalthis (Warbreaker)
  • Tears of Edgli: Vibrantly colored flowers that grow only in the temperate T'Telir climate. Highly valuable both economically and magically.[20]
On the planet First of the Sun (Sixth of the Dusk);
  • Unnamed Telepathic Trees: Many flora and fauna on this planet communicate with a form of natural telepathy. Certain unnamed plants living on the islands that make up the Pantheon send false thoughts of wounded or frightened animals to attract predators, which often fight and leave victims dead near enough to the tree to provide nutrition. These plants are not directly carnivorous.[21]
On the planet Taldain (White Sand Series)
  • Dorim vines: Dorim vines live under the sand that covers most of Taldain's Dayside continent, reaching down to the water table where they fill themselves with water as a defensive mechanism against predators – the hard shells of many of the continents animals is dissolved by contact with water. Pouring water onto sand draws nearby vines out of the ground.[22]

In Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has a number of imaginary, according to Charles Elliott "not-very-ingenious", plant species,[15] as well as "a taxonomy of fungal horrors", which Ben Woodard considers eerie not only for their poisonous nature, but because many have the ability to move.[23]

  • Basidirond: a giant multi-stemmed fungus creature[24]
  • Hangman tree: a tree that will attempt to strangle anyone who ventures under it[25]
  • Kelpie: a shape-shifting mass of animate seaweed that can imitate a woman or other creatures, and drowns its victims[25]
  • Myconid: A "race of [man-sized] sentient fungus creatures", "some of which pack a mean punch", and which have the "ability to spray poisons that can disable their foes".[26]
  • Oaken defender: an enormous disk-shaped plant that lives in dryad groves and assists in their defense[27]
  • Obliviax: "memory moss", a black moss that steals memories from intelligent creatures[25]
  • Phantom fungus:[23] a dangerous subterranean plant that grapples victims with tentacles[28]
  • Shambling mound:[23] an atrocious plant-like creature, also called a shambler[25]
  • Shrieker: Ambulatory fungus,[23] which "can be used as cheap alarm systems for Underdark societies, but they possess no combat abilities of their own. The only thing a shrieker can do is shriek". Scott Baird from Screen Rant ranked the man-sized shrieker among the weakest monsters in the game.[26]
  • Tendriculos: an enormous, savage, sentient plant resembling a huge, tangled shrubbery[28]
  • Treant: sentient trees with human characteristics that typically protect forests from antagonists[25]
  • Vegepygmy: a "mold man", a former human transformed by russet mold[25]
  • Wood woad: a creature resembling big, burly, bestial men made entirely of wood and bark bearing, but without foliage[29]
  • Yellow musk creeper:[23] a creeping plant that drains the intelligence of its victims, killing them or turning them into "yellow musk zombies" under the plant's control[25]

In Monty Python's Flying Circus[edit]

The following plants appear in the David Attenborough sketch of the last Monty Python episode.

  • Angolan sauntering tree (Amazellus robin ray).
  • Gambian sidling bush.
  • Puking Tree of Mozambique.
  • The Turkish little rude plant.
  • Walking tree of Dahomey (Quercus nicholas parsonus).

In Avatar[edit]

In the Avatar franchise, plants on Pandora have evolved according to the characteristics of their environment, which has an atmosphere that is thicker than on Earth, with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, xenon, and hydrogen sulfide. Gravity is weaker in Pandora, thereby giving rise to gigantism. There is a strong magnetic field, causing plants to develop 'magneto-tropism'. A particularly intriguing quality of flora and fauna in Pandora is their ability to communicate with each other. This is explained in the movie as a phenomenon called 'signal transduction', pertaining to how plants perceive a signal and respond to it.[30][31]

In video games[edit]

Video games frequently feature fictional plants as items that can be collected by the player, or occasionally appear as non-player characters.

  • The Monster Hunter series has multiple fictional flowers and plants that can be gathered by the player character, including nulberries, might seeds, flowferns, and dragonstrike nuts.
  • The titular plants from the Plants vs. Zombies series, which are used to defeat zombie enemies.
  • The Legend of Zelda series, plants play a significant role. In many games, bomb flowers allow the player character to explode rocks and obstacles. In Breath of the Wild in particular, the game is full of flowers and herbs that convey different abilities to Link, including the Silent Princess, Princess Zelda's favourite flower. The series also contains the Great Deku Tree, a guardian tree that watches over the forest in multiple games in the franchise.
  • Broc Flower: a plant in Fallout: New Vegas used as a medical remedy.
  • Plantera: a flower from the game Terraria which is used to be a two phase bossfight, when it is at 51% health and higher it is in its first phase moving towards the player and firing seeds, but when the player decreases its life to 50% it enters phase two, bursting a mouth with many sharp teeth, spawning biters and spores.
  • Candypop Bud: a flower found in the video games Pikmin and Pikmin 2.
  • Chuck the Plant: a plant found in several of LucasArts' games.
  • Elowan: a race of plant-like creatures in Starflight computer game.[32]
  • Flowah: A Sunflower With the elements of plant and fire from the game My Singing Monsters. Flowah Makes A "Who Gochu" vocal sound.
  • Potbelly: Potbelly is a green venus flytrap with the element of plant from the game My Singing Monsters. Potbelly Makes A "Bap" Or "Bah" Vocal Sound.
  • Flowey: A sentient golden flower who is one of the main antagonists from the game Undertale. Flowey has no soul and in the neutral route Flowey consumes 6 human souls to become Photoshop Flowey, the final boss of that route.
  • Genesis Trees: trees located in the world of Legaia from the video game Legend of Legaia. They have the power to keep a large area free of the Mist.
  • Laganaphyllis simnovorii: a carnivorous cow-like plant found in The Sims series of games, commonly known as the Cowplant.
  • Lunar Tears, from Nier and Nier: Automata, by PlatinumGames.
  • Nirnroot: Is a very rare plant with strong alchemical properties from The Elder Scrolls series of video games. Appears as a blueish green plant that emits a constant hum.
  • Piranha Plants: plants with mouths from the Mario series of video games, often depicted as sentient. It is also a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Wumpa fruits: Collectible fruits from Crash Bandicoot.
  • Fire Flower: Another famous flower from the Mario series of video games, used to enable Mario to shoot fire balls.
  • Supox utricularia: a race of kind, sentient plant creatures from Star Control computer game series.
  • Xander Root: a plant in Fallout: New Vegas used as a medical remedy.
  • Sylvari: a race of sapient plant people in the MMO Guild Wars 2, available as a playable race.

In DC Comics[edit]

Appearing in DC Comics, the Black Mercy is an extraterrestrial hallucinogenic plant used a weapon by the supervillain Mongul. Mongul first uses it in "For the Man Who Has Everything", a story by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that was first published in Superman Annual #11 (1985). The story was later adapted into the Justice League Unlimited episode of the same name. Supergirl has an episode called "For the Girl Who Has Everything", where in this version the plant was sent by Kryptonian Non. The story also served as an inspiration for the episode of Krypton, "Mercy", where in this version the plant was put on Lyta-Zod by her son from the future, General Zod. Described in the original story by Mongul as "something between a plant and an intelligent fungus", the Black Mercy attaches itself to its victims in a form of symbiosis, and feeds from the victim's "bio-aura". The organism is telepathic, and reads its victim's heart's desire, giving them a logical simulation and an ending that the victim wants, which the victim experiences an entirely immersive, virtual experience in which their actual surroundings are masked to them. According to Mongul, victims are capable of "shrugging off" the hallucination, though some find the experience too compelling to do so unaided.[33]

The Black Mercy is typically depicted as consisting of dark green, thorned vines that attach themselves to a humanoid victim's upper torso, with a set of pink flowers, each with a long, red, tentacle-like stigma, growing in the center of the victim's chest. When Mongul first uses the Black Mercy on Superman, they burrow through his costume and into his body, able to penetrate his otherwise invulnerable skin because, Wonder Woman senses, they are at least partially magical, which is one of Superman's weaknesses. During his experience with the organism, Superman's breathing appears faint, and his ability to sense the fraudulent nature of the simulation it feeds him and fight it manifests as tears produced by his actual eyes. The Black Mercy can be pulled off a victim by a strong humanoid such as Batman, and Mongul uses special protective gauntlets to handle the plant safely.[33] Superman is not able to awaken from the Black Mercy's simulation without help from Batman, though Oliver Queen and Hal Jordan are both able to do so in a subsequent storyline when they are both trapped by the same plant, as this meant that the two were sharing an illusion and Hal's strength of will caused Oliver to experience what Hal believed was his friend's greatest desire rather than Oliver making the choice himself.[34]

In the video game Injustice 2, Supergirl mentions Black Mercy in pre-battle dialogue with Scarecrow. She states dealing with him is no different than dealing with Black Mercy, causing Scarecrow to ask her what is Black Mercy out of curiosity, causing Supergirl to describe it as an evil space plant.

Characters who have experienced the Black Mercy include:

  • Superman sees himself on a still-intact Krypton with his biological parents, married to a retired actress named Lyla, and a son named Van.[33]
  • Batman envisions a life in which his parents were not murdered during his childhood, and he is married to Kathy Kane.[33]
  • Mongul envisions a life in which he successfully kills Superman, before setting out across the universe, killing all of his enemies, entire populations kneeling before him amid his destruction of countless galaxies.[33][35]
  • Green Arrow envisions a life in which he is married to Sandra "Moonday" Hawke, and in addition to their older son Connor, they have a younger son, and a newborn third. When Mongul uses the Black Mercy on him, Green Arrow was caught along with Hal Jordan, with the result that he saw what Hal believed would be his perfect life.[34]
  • Hal Jordan envisions a life in which his parents and his siblings are present in his life, and Sinestro is a friend who fights by his side as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. When Mongul uses the Black Mercy on him, Jordan was caught in the same illusion as Oliver Queen, which resulted in Jordan creating what he believed would be Queen's perfect life rather than Queen experiencing his own idea of a perfect life, allowing Queen to see through its simulation and thus awaken from it.[34]

In mythology[edit]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Elliott, Charles (2011). "Imaginary Plants". Why Every Man Needs a Tractor. London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0711232396.
  • Miller, T.S. (2014). "Plants, Monstrous". In Weinstock, Jeffrey (ed.). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 470–475.


  1. ^ The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion", ch. 3 "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. ^ The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion", ch. 8 "Of the Darkening of Valinor"


  1. ^ "Mark of the Vampire (1935) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  2. ^ a b "Synopsis: "By Any Means Necessary"".
  3. ^ Cynthia Crossen (9 December 2005). "Think Your Family Is Strange? Spend Time With the Starkadders". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Judd, Walter S.; Judd, Graham A. (2017). Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium. Oxford University Press. pp. 73–346. ISBN 978-0-19-027631-7.
  5. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  6. ^ The Return of the King, "The Houses of Healing", Index IV
  7. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, "Lothlórien"
  8. ^ The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue"
  9. ^ The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  10. ^ Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor"
  11. ^ The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  12. ^ Mabey, Richard (7 November 2015). "The queen beech ruled the land, even when she fell". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  13. ^ Rowling, J. K. (2005). "Lord Voldemort's Request". Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-8108-8.
  14. ^ Rowling, J. K. (2007). "The Tale of the Three Brothers". Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-545-01022-1.
  15. ^ a b Elliott, Charles (2011). Why Every Man Needs a Tractor. London: Frances Lincoln. p. ?. ISBN 978-0711232396.
  16. ^ Sanderson, Brandon (2017-11-14). Oathbringer (First ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-7653-2637-9. OCLC 969863614.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  17. ^ a b c d Sanderson, Brandon (2010-08-31). The Way of Kings. New York. ISBN 978-0-7653-2635-5. OCLC 471819495.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  18. ^ a b c Sanderson, Brandon. (2014). Words of Radiance (First ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-7653-2636-2. OCLC 867184929.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  19. ^ "The Way of Kings - Rockbuds by Inkthinker on DeviantArt". October 2010. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  20. ^ Sanderson, Brandon. (2009). Warbreaker (1st ed.). New York: Tor. ISBN 978-0-7653-2030-8. OCLC 276334993.
  21. ^ Sanderson, Brandon (2014-10-17). Sixth of the dusk : a Cosmere novella. [American Fork, UT]. ISBN 978-1-938570-07-0. OCLC 894996388.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  22. ^ Sanderson, Brandon (2016). White Sand Volume 1. Hoskin, Rik,, Gopez, Julius M.,, Campbell, Sophie, 1979-. Mt. Laurel, NJ. ISBN 978-1-60690-885-3. OCLC 953421413.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  23. ^ a b c d e Woodard, Ben (2012). Slime Dynamics. Winchester, Washington: Zero Books. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-78099-248-8.
  24. ^ Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II. TSR, Inc. p. 15. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Doug Stewart, ed. (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. TSR, Inc. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  26. ^ a b Baird, Scott (May 20, 2018). "Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Monsters, Ranked". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
  28. ^ a b Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (September 2004). Monster Manual III. Wizards of the Coast. p. 196. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ "Avatar's New Twist on Plants".
  31. ^ "Don't Miss These Amazing Disney Details in Pandora – the World of Avatar". 4 May 2017.
  32. ^ "Starflight Command". Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-04-07. [self-published source]
  33. ^ a b c d e Moore, Alan (w), Gibbons, Dave (a). "For the Man Who Has Everything", Superman Annual #11 (1985). DC Comics.
  34. ^ a b c Johns, Geoff (w), Pacheco, Carlos (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "A Perfect Life: Chapters 1-2", Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #7-8 (February–March 2006). DC Comics.
  35. ^ Jurgens, Dan (w), Zircher, Patrick (a). "Revenge, Part I". Action Comics #979 (early June 2017). DC Comics.