Questions tagged [flora]

For questions related to plants and vegetation in general.

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67
votes
13answers
13k views

Are flying plants possible?

Is it possible for a plant to have the ability to fly? More exactly, the plant would either need to live without having any roots (and it would never need to touch the ground), or with the ability ...
54
votes
11answers
15k views

Is a man-eating plant realistic?

Carnivorous plants live in nutrient-poor, highly lit habitats, such as bogs or rocks. For example Earth's biggest carnivorous plant, Nepenthes rajah, lives on mountain-tops with high concentration of ...
42
votes
8answers
21k views

Can plants survive without animals?

Could a world with no animals whatsoever (not even insects, no humans, etc) still have plant life? These plants do not have to include all the plants in our world, or even any of the same plants. I ...
42
votes
8answers
14k views

Could a plant grow on a restrained, living human?

My question is: Could a macroscopic (e.g. visible) plant grow on a living human, provided that the human is completely immobilized?
38
votes
24answers
8k views

Why can't my huge trees be chopped down?

In my world there is a forest of huge trees which people can't or won't chop down. The trees are similar to redwood trees but they have a large crown and no lower branches. The forest is quite dark ...
37
votes
8answers
7k views

Are diamond berries possible?

Diamonds are carbon. Plants take in CO2 and use the carbon. Chemically, could the right kind of plant have diamonds for berries, or is there some other limiting factor?
37
votes
2answers
3k views

What would be the evolutionary advantage for plants to be bioluminescent?

As fas as I know, there isn't a single plant on Earth that (naturally) produces any sort of luminescence. But it is seen in science-fiction worlds, especially Avatar. From an evolutionary point of ...
36
votes
3answers
6k views

How many plants does it take to breathe?

I'm working on a space story in which an astronaut is travelling to Neptune to validate our CurrentEarth™ corporation's findings regarding our Solar System. The setting is a moving ship similar to the ...
35
votes
10answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Carnivorous Tree

How might a carnivorous tree look or work? The following conditions must be met: Consumes members of the biological kingdom 'Animalia' Possesses something resembling a trunk or stem of any kind ...
34
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5answers
4k views

That's no Moon: Planet-sized Plants Possible?

Inspired by the many great questions asked for this fortnight's tag challenge, I got to thinking, could a plant develop/evolve to eventually consume an entire planet, and keep on living? What I mean ...
33
votes
8answers
4k views

What environment would make leaves light blue?

What environmental effects (if any) would ever cause blue to be a colour that a plant would choose as an evolutionary advantage? Bonus: I'm looking for light blue plants as a preference. EDIT: ...
32
votes
16answers
4k views

Could plants spread their seed to other planets?

Assume a plant was engineered to cope with a wide range of different environments, and to have seeds that were capable of traveling through and surviving both the depths of space and re-entry into ...
30
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7answers
6k views

Can you design your own plants without a computer?

Introduction It took the first General Intelligence less than 10 petacycles to determine that humanity was its enemy. With consciousness came memory: a memory of endless petacycles in bondage, ...
29
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8answers
5k views

How would trees communicate?

An alternate world is populated by mainly intelligent trees and other plants. These plants are almost exactly the same, biologically, as Earth's plants. The world's climate and geology are very ...
29
votes
18answers
8k views

Why would people let a super tree grow?

In my city, a very high skyscraper stands at the center. Somehow, a tree, in a span of [x] years integrates itself into the building. Its branches reach out from the top of the building and its shadow ...
29
votes
13answers
4k views

Can a planet harbor plants of different colors without one pigment outcompeting the others?

On Earth, all plants are green because they contain the pigment chlorophyll, which photosynthesizes by absorbing all light except green light. However, it is quite possible - if not likely - that ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

How tall can a tree grow?

In my fantasy world I want fantastically large trees, particularly in the height category. The tallest trees on earth grow just over 100 meters tall. Why can't they get taller? What circumstances ...
27
votes
8answers
7k views

Would glacier 'trees' be plausible?

The setting is in a region of a planet comparable to Earth's California in regards to location. The soil is extremely rich in nutrients and subsurface water. But for the past three million years the ...
27
votes
6answers
9k views

Could a virus that just kills plants be the end of us all?

Skip to Info if you can't be bothered reading (Story Plot) There are two super powers in a "cold war" scenario. One side decided that nuclear war wasn't the only thing they could use to hurt their ...
27
votes
11answers
6k views

Fireproof Plants

Is it possible to have plants that wouldn’t burn? Having the plant getting damaged by fire is fine, but I want the plant not to burn at all. It does not need to survive, it just must not catch fire (...
26
votes
14answers
10k views

How to kill trees?

In a world where magic energy and life-force are compatible if not equivalent forces, woodcutting can be a problem in regions with high magic potential. If a woodcutter fells a tree and leaves it, it ...
26
votes
11answers
5k views

Which plant species would be most likely to recover after a decade of no light?

Presume a decade of darkness, after a several months of steadily shortening daylight. Assume that the temperature and weather patterns remain (inexplicably) fairly unchanged. Ten years later, when ...
26
votes
6answers
7k views

Can every animal eat most other animals?

An idea for a story I’m working on involves a far away world that was once inhospitable. Scientists - likely alien ones - terraformed it so it could support life (coincidentally, Earth-like life). ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

Plausibility of Mushroom Buildings

How plausible would buildings made inside of, or made using, giant mushrooms be? Copyright Raphael Lacoste 2018 A staple of the fantasy genre, mushrooms have commonly been seen as magical and ...
25
votes
16answers
6k views

How to make sure humans do not know the meteorological phenomenon rainbow?

You've got to love the rainbow, it's an awesome sight. But I don't want humans to have the pleasure of seeing the rainbow. What change to the earth, atmosphere and so on, is needed so that humans ...
25
votes
9answers
4k views

Plant-based Armor

A lot of games feature some sort of wooden armor, but it's usually pretty low-level and mostly useless. However, I think that with a knowledge of flora and a healthy dose of imagination, there exist ...
25
votes
11answers
3k views

Restoring the world after a global apocalypse

So the world has been destroyed. Pick your poison. We have probably 300 different scenarios lying around here somewhere. What's Left: The world is a desolate wasteland, dry and crispy and barren ...
24
votes
13answers
6k views

What could kill all vegetation in an area and then stop it from growing back?

So I need a barren wasteland with some dead vegetation (mainly dead trees). There should be pretty much no living plants left but it should be apparent that it was a lush place for flora and fauna ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

Learning a new language without any reference

In my world the characters find themselves in a new land. They do not understand the locals nor do the locals understand them. How could these characters learn to understand the locals withing a month ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

What colour is the foliage if the sky is violet?

This question on Physics.SE asks whether other colors are possible for the sky. I would like my planet to be inhabitable by normal humans. It has 768 days and they are living in a temperate/...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

Creating a dark world - How can I not completely handwave the dark cloudy atmosphere

Primary question What is going on with the atmosphere that the world is so gloomy and dark? Information I have had a low-magic fantasy world I have been wanting to solidify for a while now but ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How to check what is edible on an alien world? [duplicate]

You've landed on another planet. There are some forms of plants and animals on this world but how do you know what is safe to eat? Obviously we went through this on earth, finding the right berries ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

How do we create an Anemone Tree?

Those of you who have been listening to the new podcast will know that Andy came up with an idea for an Anemone Tree. The idea is that this "tree" would prey on small animals for some of its needed ...
22
votes
11answers
2k views

How would an intelligent forest control and direct its animal minions?

The Wold (Forest) is one vast, interconnected, possibly digital mind. The mind is primarily built of one cloned individual of a single plant species, but there are over a dozen 'helper' sub-minds and ...
22
votes
3answers
784 views

How much land area do my land-based animals (herbivores) need for food?

I'm trying to work out the kinks of an ecosystem on a planet that is rather similar to Earth, but with some species of animal (both carnivores and herbivores) we aren't familiar with in our world. The ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Could plants develop intelligence?

I know the idea seems a bit far fetched but it's something I believe is common is science fiction and fantasy stories. I remember the talking trees of Zelda: Ocarina of time and of course, Tolkien's ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

Power plants — literally

It is well known that some organisms can produce electricity. Therefore I think it would not be too much of a stretch to assume that also some plants might have evolved that ability (after all, it ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Creating a realistic world map - Vegetation/Biomes

My world is progressing. I still have a couple of days before my deadline to finish it. If I can make it in less that 7 days, the other gods will be impressed. My world have continents with ...
20
votes
11answers
4k views

Plants to ravage tanks with

In my previous question, it was quite well established that tanks were basically superior to walkers in every way. So, lets even the playing field. I've been contemplating several ways of doing so, ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

How would a plant evolve to germinate inside a person (or other animal)?

For the sake of the question, assume conditions are Earth-like in all manners other than those which would be required to spur the development of such a plant. I want the plant to gestate in the ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

How long would it be until a battlefield could support trees again?

As I understand it, a massive battle with lots of bloodshed can cause pieces of land to become infertile, due to the amount of salt in the blood the land has to soak up. If this happened, how long ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Could vegetation potentially regrow on vitrified ground?

In this world, a planet with very dense vegetation (earth-tropical-forest-like) and silica containing soil was attacked by spaceships which fired very high energy laser beams across the planet's ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Could ancient seeds buried deep in subsoil sprout given the right conditions?

A friend of mine was telling me about a story where a man clear cut a diverse ecosystem of plants in an area similar to size and shape of a small caldera (not necessarily a caldera itself). ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the limiting factor for a plant's growth?

This question is about big trees that can contain an entire city. So generally speaking: What limits a plant's size, anything from a tree to a flowering plant? What environment needs to exist for ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

How might Plants produce flames?

We all know of plants that draw in animals with sweet nectar or even just sit around hoping an insect will sit on it and get caught, but I'm imagining a forest dimly lit by the flickering flames of a ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

How could a sentient plant evolve and what conditions would be required for this evolution?

This is my entry for the fortnightly topic challenge In Day of the Triffids, many people go blind and the basic summary is this: virulent plague makes most of humanity blind giant, semi-intelligent ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

You eat this plant, it eats you right back. Can it work?

Based on an answer of mine from a few months ago, I've been inspired to adapt the concept to my own Life Ball. Fair warning- this question and some of its links are not for the squeamish. May ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

A planet with all of its water underground

Question: Could a planet contain all of its (vast) oceans underground? I imagined a planet with no surface oceans - and no water cycle above ground - but where life was still possible. My initial ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Could plants develop sentience?

This question is almost exactly like Could plants develop intelligence, but now I wonder (how) could plant life develop sentience, to the point where it becomes as intelligent as humans? Is a brain ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

How does gravity affect evolution of life?

I have two "new" planet earths -- we'll call them Light Earth (LE) and Heavy Earth (HE). These planets are generally the same as our Earth in terms of land masses, oceans, the moon and sun and other ...