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Flora are plants which exist in Spore as means of food for herbivores and omnivores. Carnivores may consume them ingame during the Creature Stage, but will vomit it out, providing no use to satisfying the creature's hunger or health.
Creature Stage: Fruit can be picked up and eaten by omnivores or herbivores. There are sometimes pieces of rotting fruit. Rotting pieces of fruit appear to be inedible, but can be consumed. Carnivores cannot consume any form of plant material. Herbivores and omnivores can be seen eating fruit throughout the game.
Tribal Stage: An omnivore or herbivore tribe can pick fruit from plants. Herbivores can use fishing spears to harvest seaweed from the ocean. Oddly enough, herbivores can also eat eggs harvested from domesticated animals. Other tribes often have fruit in their food piles.
Civilization Stage: There is no real use for flora in the civilization stage of the game. It is just scenery. They usually are a obstacle for vehicles.
Space Stage: Plants are necessary to stabilize a planet's atmosphere. There are three different types of flora: small, medium, and large. Every planet can have three of each if fully terraformed to a T-3. Each Terra score (T-Score) level requires one more of each of the three kinds of plants, plus two herbivores and a carnivore. Some empires will offer the player missions to retrieve a plant.
A theory about the origin of this mission is that they want the plant to stabilize the T-Score of their planet. However, another theory suggests that it might be possible that they are using it for gene splicing to make a new species of plant.
Galactic Adventures : Plants are decorative in adventures, and can also be used as obstacles. There are two types of plants, plants that are in the same category of props (rocks, staffs, huts and beach balls are a few examples), and plants that are procedurally generated by the game in the "Flora" section in the Terraforming menu.
The way Flora are generated in the "Flora" Terraforming menu is very much like (or most likely the same) how they are generated in planets. Like T-3 planets, the Terraforming Menu only will support only three plants in the three categories (see above).
Plants as props do not need to be in the "Flora" Terraforming menu to be used as a prop. They can be interacted with goals, unlike other plants. As they are props, they can't be destroyed.
Flora Editor Edit
There is a very buggy hidden Flora editor.
To access it in Windows, simply run Spore with the tag
-state:FloraEditor, either by running Spore with it in the command line, or by adding the tag to a shortcut.
Saving plants using the force-save hack will ruin saved game states. It has been stated in an interview with the Spore team that a flora editor was planned to be released in a future expansion pack.
Large Flora glitch Edit
There is a known glitch in the Space Stage. When a plant is being deposited, it grows. If you aim the abduction beam towards the sky, and keep the plant in the air long enough, it gets bigger. When you set it down on the planet's surface, the plant will be much larger than the rest surrounding it, as the picture shows.