Breaking Down All Of Groot's Superpowers

Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is packed full of oddball aliens, but none are quite as weird or as wonderful as Groot. He's a Flora Colossus from Planet X (also known as Taluhnia), an ancient race of sentient trees. That's right: Groot is a walking, talking, plant-based lifeform, and with a variety of plant-based superpowers, he's more than a bit handy in a fight — even if he's not so good at the smack talk.

The Guardian of the Galaxy may only be able to say "I am Groot," but what he lacks in linguistics, he makes up for in heart; the lovable tree is a rallying force for the rag-tag band of heroes — but that's not all the giant alien plant creature brings to the table.

Groot is one of the most versatile members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, with a list of superpowers as long as his rap sheet. Although he's seen some setbacks in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he's still an incredibly powerful hero who has demonstrated an impressive range of abilities.

So what exactly can Groot do?

Flora colossus physiology

As the last of an ancient race of sentient tree creatures, Groot's body has a lot in common with traditional Earth plants. Those shared traits give him some special abilities, such as rapid growth in a variety of ways.

Much like a household plant, Groot can grow much faster than a human, maturing from a potted baby plant at the end of the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie into a teenager by the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" with a relatively short amount of time in between.

That's not all! Groot can lengthen his limbs almost instantly. During the planning of an escape from the space prison known as The Kyln, Groot jumps the gun and easily stretches his arms to grab a fuel cell off a wall. Unfortunately, this also triggers an alarm, making the prison escape with Rocket and the rest of the gang that much harder to pull off.

When lengthening his limbs, Groot essentially turns his arms and hands into vines that he can wrap around people. They can quickly incapacitate an enemy, growing tighter and tighter with each passing second. Groot even tried to use his vines against Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War" by shooting them underground towards the Mad Titan, but they were easily thwarted by the Infinity Stones the villain already collected.

These vines have also been a bit of a hazard, though, as seen in the post-credits scene from "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." Detached from Groot's body, the vines are almost like a teenager's clothes left scattered around Groot's room. What's Teen Groot even using them for?

But Groot's limb growth is just the beginning of what he can do by manipulating his tree body.

Enhanced strength

As a bounty hunter, Groot is often hired muscle, even though he's made of plant fiber rather than actual muscle. Groot's towering physique and wood body provides enhanced strength that allows him to lift exponentially more than his own body weight.

Yet again, being incarcerated in The Kyln allowed Groot to show off his incredible strength. To assert authority over the other inmates, Rocket runs his mouth and has Groot do the intimidating by grabbing an inmate by the nostrils and hoisting him several feet into the air. But it's not just a full-grown Groot who has impressive strength.

Even as a young sapling in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," he holds his own against Retch, the traitorous Ravager who turns on Yondu. Retch may be many times his size, but Groot dispatches him with ease.

By the time we see Groot fighting again in "Avengers: Infinity War," he has matured into a teenager, and he's holding his own on the battlefield. In fact, he shows both his strength and limb growth abilities in one fell swoop. During the battle against Thanos and his army, Groot swiftly shoots his lengthened arm through the middle of several Outriders, plucking them from the ground and effortlessly tossing them into the air.

Along with Groot's enhanced strength, he also has superhuman stamina, giving him the ability to run, fight, and jump for extended periods without getting too tired. He's a plant, so there's no muscle mass to get fatigued.

Enhanced durability

Groot's skin is essentially bark, giving him a tough, thick layer that is much stronger than your average skin — especially when it comes to resisting deadly attacks.

Composed entirely of thick, dense wood, you'd think Groot would be fairly brittle when going up against futuristic or even modern-day weapons. But his bark-armored skin is able to withstand a punch from Drax and even several blows from Gamora's swords. In fact, throughout the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" film, he shrugs off multiple volleys of gunfire from The Kyln's security hoverbots, not to mention numerous attacks from Ronan the Accuser's Sakaaran soldiers.

But Groot's mileage may vary when it comes to how strong the bark skin can be. Sometimes he's able to soak up damage without batting an eyelid, but other times, he loses an entire limb to a well-placed blow from a knife or sword. Gamora cuts off his arms during a scuffle on Xandar, but thankfully, but that's where one of Groot's other superpowers comes in handy ... literally.

Regenerative healing

Much like Wolverine or Deadpool, Groot is able to heal his own wounds. Similar to terrestrial plants and trees, Groot can regrow parts of himself that may have been damaged or, well, pruned. Much like Groot's growth speed, this regeneration happens a lot faster than your average greenery. Groot can take a trimming and keep on ticking.

For example, after Groot's first encounter with Gamora, he's able to grow both of his arms back while imprisoned in The Kyln. They don't regenerate as rapidly as his limbs can lengthen in battle, but it still happens relatively quickly. Groot has even sacrificed his limbs in order to help his superhero friends.

During "Avengers: Infinity War," he helps Thor and Eitri to create Stormbreaker, the mythical axe wielded by Thor in the comic books. After the metal is forged, Groot wraps his hand and arm around the axe and cuts off his own arm to give Thor a sturdy haft to grip while wielding the weapon. It's one of the coolest uses of Groot's regenerative healing factor and a bit of a crowd-pleaser. It also means that whenever Thor heads into battle, he'll always have Groot by his side, so that's cute. It's not the first time Groot has turned his body into a weapon, either.

Rapid body modification

During the prison break in The Kyln, Groot rapidly grows a bunch of defensive brambles around his shoulders when the security hoverbots have pushed him too far. Not only does this make him more intimidating, but he follows it with a makeshift shield made out of vines, thorns, and brambles that protect him and Rocket from heavy gunfire.

As the escape continues, Rocket's small stature keeps him from reaching the rafters of the prison. So Groot turns his arm into a makeshift ladder so his furry little buddy doesn't get left behind. It's a cute moment that not only shows how close he and Rocket really are, but it's also a neat showcase for just how versatile Groot can be.

But not all of Groot's body is made to be useful in tricky situations. One of the more touching moments in "Guardians of the Galaxy" comes when the gang arrives at Knowhere. Showing kindness, awe, and wonder, Groot grows a tiny, daisy-like flower out of his hand and gives it to a young child.

Bioluminescent spores

It's not just flowers, leaves, and vines that Groot can spawn from his body. Rocket's pal is able to create bioluminescent spores, too.

Sure, it's not quite as useful as super strength or self-healing, but the ability to generate his own light source means that Groot never has to stumble around in the dark, and neither do the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Groot uses this ability to stunning effect aboard the Dark Aster in "Guardians of the Galaxy, " as he and the team are hunting Ronan the Accuser through the spacecraft's darkened halls. Stumbling into a dark room, they're almost completely unable to see until Groot extends his hand into the air and releases a cloud of light-emitting spores that float through the air around them. It's a beautiful scene that reminds us Groot is much more than hired muscle.

Protective cocoon

"We are Groot." It's the line everyone remembers from "Guardians of the Galaxy" as Groot stepped up to save his pals in a touching moment of self-sacrifice. It's also the moment Groot uses one of his most impressive powers: the ability to generate a protective cocoon of vines and branches around himself and his pals.

After tracking down Ronan the Accuser at the end of the first movie, the gang finds themselves trapped aboard a spaceship that's hurtling to the ground. It seems that they're done for, until Groot uses all his might to grow a massive thicket of vines, branches, leaves, and other plant mass into a protective bubble to shield the Guardians from harm. He even lines this protective cocoon with leaves to cushion the impact, and throws in a handful of those bioluminescent spores so they can all still see. How thoughtful!

It's a real showstopper that uses many of Groot's abilities together in an ingenious way to save the ones he loves. Unfortunately, it means the tree-like alien takes the brunt of the ensuing explosion and gets completely obliterated in the process. Reduced to a pile of scorched twigs, his sacrifice saves the Guardians, who go on to save the day and vanquish Ronan.

But even when it all goes wrong, it's not actually the end for Groot, because he has one final important ability. 

Complete regrowth

Groot's most impressive power is a strange sort of immortality: Groot can be grown back to full size as long as you have a tree cutting you can plant in soil.

Despite being blown to smithereens, Rocket was able to nab a Groot-shaped twig and nurse it back to health, planting a piece of his pal in a little pot and nurturing it until it turns into a baby Groot.

Much like any other plant, Groot can be regrown from a cutting, allowing him to regenerate fully after being blown apart. But while Groot returns in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," it's not exactly the same Groot from the first film.

As James Gunn explained via Twitter, "First Groot is dead. Baby Groot is his son."

So Groot really did die at the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy." But by taking a cutting and planting it, Rocket was able to grow a new version of Groot. Much like when we cultivate new plants from a cutting, it's not exactly the same plant that we started with. What might have happened if Rocket had planted dozens of Groot twigs? Would we end up with an army of baby Groots? 

Since being replanted, Groot has matured into a young teen. But when we see Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," he'll be full size again, as revealed in recent footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con. Could we see even more superpowers from this new adult Groot? Stay tuned.