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The Flowers, known sometimes as the Flowers That Be, or simply Upstairs, are the sapient vegetable entities that run the PPC.


The Flowers are distinguished from their unintelligent cousins by the use of capital letters—a clover is a three-leaved plant with white flowers which grows in fields, while the Clover was the Head of the Department of Finance and a member of the Board of Department Heads. One known exception to this is the potted fern, which eschews capital letters for what may be confidence reasons.[1]

Where a Flower is given a name apart from its species—the Sub Rosa, Captain Dandy, or of course the Sunflower Official—this usually indicates that they are one of the Firstborn: the Flowers born in the first two bursts of energy on Origin. The Firstborn have a different mindset and somewhat altered consciousness compared to other Flowers,[2] and took their names partly as a reflection of this, and partly (particularly in the case of the Sunflower Official) to clearly distinguish themselves from their younger kin.

Several non-Firstborn Flowers have been known to take names, such as the Authoritative Elanor and Admiral Pansy. Most of these appear to have Awakened in HQ; there is no indication of any non-Firstborn Awakened on Origin ever taking a name.


Unlike normal flora, the Flowers are able to move around. They are known to have originally accomplished this by walking on their roots,[2] though they may since have found more efficient methods. The Sunflower Official first discovered the trick of selectively engorging his leaves with water, ensuring a constant supply and allowing them to be used as manipulators. Despite by definition lacking muscles, some Flowers have demonstrated an impressive amount of strength; the Nightshade once easily lifted and restrained Dassie Hyrax, a well-trained DIS agent,[3] and the Bracket Fungus was capable of crushing opponents with his size and physical power when engaged in combat.[4]

The Flowers are known to enjoy eating some form of blue-green crystals,[5] a description which matches some kinds of Real World plant food. They 'eat' these by having the crystals poured onto soil in which they have rooted;[6] they are also known to drink in the same manner.[7]

Controversies surrounding the Flowers include the questions of Gender and Flowers and Lifespan of Flowers. The size of Flowers is also sometimes in question—some may or may not be their natural sizes, but most seem to be about the height of a tall human adult, six to seven feet.


By human standards, Flowers are very intelligent, and every one of them is a powerful psychic. Flowers communicate via telepathy, and are highly resistant—though not quite immune—to mental domination, to the point the Mysterious Somebody, a Dark Jedi with considerable strength in the Force who specialised in mind control, admitted he couldn't outright take over a Flower's mind and make it do something it didn't already want to do; he could still persuade, as he did with the Marquis de Sod, and affect some emotions, such as driving the Poppy into a homicidal frenzy, but he described those as more influence than direct control.[8] In fact, the Sunflower Official was powerful enough to help Lady Zhevago break the Mysterious Somebody's mental control, directly leading to the C'baoth clone's death.[4] During this same confrontation, he displayed an empathic ability when he comforted the dying Zhevago, "[washing] the pain from her thoughts" with a moment's psychic contact.

The Flowers' telepathic abilities allow for long-range communication and are part of how they perceive the world around them, allowing them to distinguish individuals in the area. Flowers are capable of transmitting 'spoken' sentences to each other and to non-Flowers, and of reading the surface thoughts of non-Flowers; this allows them to determine what someone is about to say before they speak. However, non-telepaths do not usually construct their surface thoughts into full sentences; rather, the Flowers have to interpret their sometimes highly fractured thoughts into something approaching 'speech'.[9] They cannot read thoughts past those on the very surface of the mind, but have a high degree of control over broadcasting their own; a Flower's telepathic speech is generally only heard by those it chooses to 'speak' to, but when one is upset enough it might begin inadvertently sending its thoughts to any beings that happen to be in range, a phenomenon Flowers refer to as 'splashing'.[10]

Flowers are also capable of telekinesis, to an unknown extent,[4][11] and while most these days prefer not to get their leaves dirty, when a Plant finds itself in combat it can use its powers in a variety of ways to defend itself and attack its enemies. These can range from striking foes with telekinetic bursts to focussing their thoughts and emotions into a psychic lance capable of annihilating an opponent's mind,[12] as well as less lethal techniques that can quickly render an attacker unconscious.[13]


The Flowers came into being on Origin, through a complicated series of events involving astronomically unlikely coincidences which the Legal Department would surely not have allowed had they been in existence. They were the founders of the Organisation which became the PPC, and constituted its original agents. With the destruction of Origin by the Cascade, it is believed that the Flowers working for the PPC and League of Mary Sue Factories are the last survivors. This could be incorrect, however.


You're kidding, right?