Back in highschool I had a teacher who was adamant that rocks were alive; stating things like "They reproduce when you break them". They might have been a bit on the "outthere" side, but I was thinking recently: How could a rock be considered alive?
In my story, there is a particular organism called a gemite bloom. It is a crystalline flower-like life-form. As I have it planned, it works very much like a plant with a few differences. At the start of it's life cycle it looks like a crystal seed, with a small organic core at the center. You can plant the seed and it will absorb nutrients through the soil, through microscopic pores in the crystal. The organic core will begin to grow overtime, growing tendrils that stretch and start to drill through the crystal. As it reaches the outside of the crystal the tendrils start to secrete a substance that hardens and becomes an extension of the crystal.
This process repeats until the tendrils reach up through the soil and reach sunlight. The center organ will then begin to shift upwards, dissolving the crystal and replacing it as it moves to reach the sunlight. It undertakes a photosynthesis procedure (lots of light can easily pass through the crystal exterior) and begins to develop a stem to reach higher, a core support tendril and eventually a bud. The bud then grows larger and the central organ takes hold in the center, creating hundreds of tiny very efficient photosynthesis filaments that extend through the bud. When ready it blooms, opening it's petals and gathering even more sunlight. Eventually the core organ begins to subdivide and new "seeds" are formed which then, after growing to a self sustaining side, drop out of the bloom and become their own organism. Thus what is left is a flower-like organism that is composed of a very beautiful, but brittle crystal and living core.
EDIT: I should add that if you stripped the crystal from the organism, it will not survive, it needs it for protection and in the case of the filiments, they are so closely linked that it's nearly impossible to seperate them. In case that helps.
So, with that process somewhat explained (I wish I could draw well, I feel pictures might help a bit), I have a few questions.
A) Is this feasible as a life-cycle?
B) Would this be considered a "plant-like rock", or "rock-like plant"?
If "rock-like plant" to B: C) Is it possible, by definition, to have a "living rock"?
D) Is it possible to extend this type life creation to a crystal Golem that develops a consciousness and is self-sustaining by photosynthesis. (Cause I don't think it could really live by eating "non-living" rocks, but maybe I'm wrong.)
EDIT: I'm looking for a mostly scientifically backed answer, but since this takes place in a world with magic I've included the magic tag. Magic can be used to bridge the gaps that science doesn't have plausible stance for, but refrain from hand-waving if possible. (Not that I have, haha.)