Baby Groot, Teen Groot, and Groot Explained by a Tree Biologist

Per the film, growing a Groot would require no knowledge of biology, but it sure is fun to go there with it.

by Raz Robinson

Fans have long speculated how exactly Groot, the walking, talking, and charmingly imbecilic tree played by Vin Diesel in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies was able to regrow himself — well, kinda himself — after nobly sacrificing his life in the original film. Now, a botanist named James Wong has answered that question and then some by offering a deep dive on tree biology and the arboriculture necessary to raise a Baby Groot into a Teen Groot into a Groot Groot.

When Guardians of the Galaxy hit theatres in 2014, Groot was inarguably one of the most memorable characters. Still, there were questions. James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, has answered a few. Groot is definitely dead. Baby Groot is definitely his “son.” Still, the scientific explanation for this was never really hashed out to the satisfaction of the Guardians nerdy fanbase. No worries. Wong’s tweetstorm makes it all perfectly clear.

Even though Wong’s explanation was sufficiently down to Earth, it was far from enough to quell the internet’s speculation. Naturally, the discourse that followed his post was twice as confusing. The whole conversation immediately dovetailed into a long-winded and overly philosophical—but slightly fun— chat about “personal identity.”

Okay. This conversation is slightly less fun now. Still, what might be even less fun is waiting until the end of the next Avengers movie in 2019 to find out about the future of the Groot family — such as it is.