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 and leaves for hair. 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. Not to be confused with Straw Character.
Also, when Rule 34 is invoked, expect the being to be called an 'Alraune'.
No real life examples, please; But then, how could there be?
- The advertising of Green Giant frozen vegetables features the Jolly Green Giant, and his nephew, the Little Green Sprout.
- In one Orangina commercial, one of the characters is an actual female plant person (complete with bathing suits).
Anime and Manga
- Green Legend Ran.
- Cheza from Wolf's Rain
- The Druids from Origin: Spirits of the Past.
- Count D from Pet Shop 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.
- 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.
- The Green Man from Astro City.
- 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.
- However, in the Batman: No Man's Land storyline, the police planned to take Ivy out (after she had seized control of Gotham City Park) with a powerful defoliant that would have killed all plant life in the park, including Ivy's monsters and Ivy herself, suggesting that she wasn't exactly human anymore. Whether it would have worked or not is unknown, because Ivy surrendered to save the children she was protecting. Which caused Batman to answer the question pretty directly, saying that the act proved she was "still more human than plant."
- Ivy is certainly able to create plant people. In her limited series Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death she creates three "Sporelings" - Rose, Hazel, and Thorn - plant-human hybrids like herself, but never human to begin with.
- Marvel Comics' the Man-Thing, now[when?] 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[when?] a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- The villain Solomon Grundy is a zombie whose body is as much plant matter as it is flesh. That's why the original Green Lantern (as in, Alan Scott) found it almost impossible to fight him. Due to his ring being ineffective against wood, it barely worked on Grundy.
- 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 Lord of the Rings.
- Birdseye, a parody of Green Giant (See Advertising, above) appears in Bored of the Rings along with the plant-people he rules, the Vee-Ates.
- Nym from The Wheel of Time.
- 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.
- Goosebumps had one in the book Stay Out of the Basement, of which it is the main plot point.
- Philip José 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 A Dirge for Prester John. The bodies of the dead are planted and become trees.
- 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.
- Goosebumps: see Literature above.
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger has Mandora Boy, a living mandrake who gives advice to the Magirangers
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- Dryads appeared in Classical Mythology, so this is Older Than Feudalism.
- The Green Man.
- Swedish (and probably Scandinavian) folklore has the Skogsrå (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.
- Dungeons & Dragons of course, has several species of plant people, including Treants and Dryads.
- Not to mention the Woodling template, which lets you add this trope to any existing species, and the Topiary Guardians, which are animated topiary sculptures. If D&D has examples of a trope, it has a LOT of them.
- 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.
- 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 Fantasy Battle, 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).
- 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.
- If you use too many pesticides in The Sims Seasons, you turn into a plant person and need to have a lot of water.
- Fallout 2 and 3 have Harold, an NPC ghoul with a tree he calls Bob growing out of his head.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- World of Warcraft has Brazie the Botanist, the Quest Giver for the "Lawn of the Dead" Mini Game (which is obviously not Plants vs. Zombies, despite the similarities), a goblin who seems to be part-plant himself.
- Also the case for High Botanist Tel'arn, the royal gardener of Surumar and one of the Bosses in the Nighthold raid. He was so obsessed with plants that he somehow turned himself into one; Thalyssra claims it's because he "took his job seriously".
- 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.
- Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V Phantom Pain could be called this. While still human in most respects, the "parasite surgery" she underwent lets her go without food, gaining all manner of nourishment via photosynthesis. This is the reason for her Stripperiffic outfit, in-game at least.
- Monster Girl Quest has the Plant race of monsters. Many of them follow the standard Alraune form, a woman's torso within a large flower (or other plant). Some of them are actually based on fungi.
- Dr. Potter from Luigi's Mansion 3, the boss in the greenhouse level with a Green Thumb and pet Man-Eating Plants; he seems to be as much plant himself as he is ghost.
- 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).
- The short story here combines this trope with Involuntary Shapeshifting and Body Horror.
- The story Wereshrub is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- In The Dragon Wars Saga the dryads (nymphs with a life affinity) are an example.
- The Element Lord of the Jungle in Bionicle. The Bota Magnan Agori may also count.
- Among the exotic pets in UniCreatures are a series of dryads, one for each season. One of the (free) seasonal pets is a flower sprite of some kind.
- 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 (not to mention the episode in which she developed a way to punish her enemies by turning them into [inanimate] trees). After the animated continuity was rebooted, she became a full-blown "plant person" herself, complete with green skin and the ability to breathe carbon dioxide. In fact, Batman once defeated her and her army of carnivorous plants by having all the carbon dioxide removed from Ivy's office, causing her and her "pets" to pass out.
- Then the Batman Adventures spin-off comic said that the green-skinned, carbon-dioxide-breathing Ivy 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 Flap Jack 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.
- Terra Snapdragon in The Owl House; head of the Plant Coven, she seems to be at least part plant herself, having leaves and flowers in place of hair.
- Not that unusual anatomy is uncommon among the Coven heads; Eberwolf is leader of the Beast Keeper Coven, and is a wolf-human hybrid, while Darius leads the Abomination Coven, and can turn parts of his own body into abomination-slime.