Normal plants cannot survive where the suns don't reach. Instead, some species evolved to replace photosynthesis with Gloom-based aurasynthesis, also called Gloomsynthesis. These specialized plants are categorized as Gloomflora.
Gloomflora are peculiar plants. Each species is quite unique to its own native environment. Species are grouped based on their outward appearance, but their phenotype is misleading in regards to actual genetic relationships. Two species of Gloomflora can look extremely similar and have no recent ancestors in common. Convergent evolution is the cause of these similar-looking, but genetically unrelated plants.
"The names don't really mean anything at this point. Just go with whatever feels right."
Gloomfungi are misidentified as Gloomflora very frequently. Many species of Gloomtrees have later been discovered to actually be species of fungi, which further muddles any attempts at organization.
Gloomflora are sorted into three categories based on their body shape. A species' place in a category is entirely based on outward appearance, and is therefore subjective. Some Gloomflora are difficult to classify into a single category and remain unclassified.
Gloomtrees look similar to normal trees. They typically have a radial structure, with a thick supporting stalk in the middle and smaller stalks branching off of it. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Gloomtrees are considered to be large, typically at least eight feet tall. To be considered a Gloom Forest, an area needs to have a strong population of Gloomtrees.
Gloomshrubs are small and are more asymmetrical than Gloomtrees. They spread out in many directions and have many small branching pieces. Gloomshrubs may not have a single central stalk, and instead have multiple stalks that join together. They are considered to be short--no taller than five or six feet--and prefer to grow more horizontally than vertically.
Gloomcreep, or Gloomcrawl, does not have a supporting stalk. It grows similarly to vines or mosses and uses the surrounding geography to support itself. Gloomcreep is very diverse. It can be symbiotic or parasitic to neighboring flora. It can stay in a localized location or spread ever onward with seemingly no limit. Despite its low profile, Gloomcreep is extremely important to the Gloom Forest ecosystem.
Genetics and Reproduction
Species of Gloomflora can reproduce asexually or sexually. They spread their offspring with the help of local wildlife, the weather, or in any number of peculiar methods for their particular environment.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Gloomflora sustain themselves on Gloom energy and chemical elements that they respirate from the air around them and the substrate they grow out of. They convert these raw materials into food using organelles that are evolved from chloroplasts.
Carnivorous species of Gloomflora are more common than in photosynthesizing plants. The additional nutrients make up for substrate that is lacking. With the help of Gloom, some carniovorous Gloomflora can take on prey much larger than an insect.