This page discusses the specific biology of the flora in No Man's Sky. It covers named plantdef species (including those offering a harvestable resource), as well as un-named species (including fungoidsdef). Animals (including coralloidsdef) are discussed on the fauna page. More general biology is discussed on the main biology page. NB: This page does not list and describe unique species except as examples of more general principles.
This section explores the external features of NMS flora (in contrast to anatomy which explores their internal features).
The procedural generation page describes the game's design process in detail, but in summary:
- A given planet's biome and geology constrain the system's rules about possible floral characteristics.
- They also determine a basal ground colour palette, and the density and distribution of flora in general and along the edges of sward polygons.
- Within these rules, different types of flora share a limited range of underlying rigs (trunks).
- A variable number and position of accessory branches and leaves are added from a large suite of templates.
- These are then given variable bark, moss, lichen, fungus and colour layers.
- A post-harvest phase is added for non-Carbon resource-bearing flowers.
- Scaling is applied to give each species its own characteristic dimensions.
- Penultimately, behavioural traits are added including location preferences such as slope angle or altitude, and predation preferences for carnivorous plants.
- Finally (and below the species in general), each individual specimen is then individually placed (involving physical adjustments related to its space), and aged (offering variable sizes).
Roots, trunks, branches, and flowers have all been noted to grow radially.
Leaves tend to have mirrored halves; carnivorous plant whips similarly.
Certain carnivorous plants have a segmented whip including the eleven segments of Nosecae Itroicia on planet Ritach Igeuphr in the Bamatokinos-Acce system of the Euclid galaxy.
Tree roots in NMS tend only to be occasionally visible on their upper surface. However, some trees, such as Meyantrera Askurnoe of planet Ritach Igeuphr in the Bamatokinos-Acce system of the Euclid Galaxy, sport prop roots arising from the main trunk above ground, ostensibly to provide extra support.
As with the Earth genus Lithops (or pebble plants), examples in NMS exist of binomialdef succulent plants looking almost exactly like mononomialdef minerals. Theoretically, this could protect them from animal grazing.
Passive floral behaviour relates to its preferred terrain (e.g. steep slopes or semi-aquatic).
Proactive floral behaviour is limited to that of carnivorous plants. In the case of Nosecae Itroicia on planet Ritach Igeuphr in the Bamatokinos-Acce system of the Euclid galaxy, the first sign, on approach, is glowing and shimmering. Then a red haze fills the character's visor moments before its whip uncurls in a high speed lash whilst spewing green gas from its tip. The final stage is recurling. The following video has been slowed down to 1/4 speed to enable maximum appreciation of its feat:
- Most larger plantsdef and some fungoidsdef come with a given binomialdef name.
- All these pre-named plants offer some kind of resource when mined with a multi-tool, most generally Carbon.
- Some binomial flowers instead offer a non-Carbon resource and are appropriately coloured (reddish if it is an isotope, yellowish if it is an oxide, bluish if it is a silicate).
- Other binomial flowers offer healing or shielding restoration essences.
- Flora can generally be divided into three storeys: ground cover, shrubs, and trees.
- Ground cover (and sometimes shrubs) is mainly provided by anomialdef, yet procedurally generated, plants.
- Unlike Earth where they are only terrestrialdef or aquatic, some branched and leaved plant-like forms in NMS appear to be subterraneandef.
- Some flora are luminescent.
- Leaf shapes are very characteristic.
- Leaves, branches and trunks may variably be missing or reduced.
- Anomial, non-marine lumps or forms clearly resembling Earth types, are considered fungoids in this wiki.
- Some fungoids are commensaldef, others detritaldef.
- There is neither a clear differentiation between the ways plants and fungoids in NMS obtain their nutrients, nor is there access to their cell biology. There is also some morphological cross-over (e.g. some large lumps have a binomial name and offer up Carbon), and habitat cross-over (e.g. subterranean leaved plants). Unlike Earth, there is no rationale for having a third Kingdom (fungae) beyond flora and fauna.
- The game's procedural engine allows evolutionary spawning of flora in nearby areas. This means that binomial organisms in neighbouring areas which share a pre-named genus are likely to be related to each other by direct derivation (i.e. they are clades). Most often for binomials however, and always for anomial species, a phenetic approach (which simply assumes that things that look alike are related) will be needed for classification.
- Some anomial, non-sward, plant specimens appear to utilise characteristics of binomial plants on the same planet: