Transformer life has taken on myriad alternate forms over the years, but Botanica remains unique: she transforms into a mobile alien plant creature. She is competent and powerful, as well as a bit mystical, and has a strong connection to the planet and an affinity for growing things. A determined scientist first and foremost, she can be fastidious and fussy in her dedication to her work—sometimes to the point of overlooking the things that matter most. Either way, the work she does is believed by her to help make Cybertron a better place for the future.
As she explains her backstory to the other Maximals about how she became a plant and why she returned to Cybertron, it was revealed that Botanica captained the same sort of exploration mission that the Axalon originally undertook. As her ship lands on a planet that is dominated only by plant life, including the mobile variety, her crew adopted alternate forms that are based upon this native life to blend in with their surroundings and thus they would be able to study the planet's locals without any hostilities towards them.
When they received Megatron's fake distress signal, Botanica left the world and returned to Cybertron, where she was shot down, while her crew remained on the planet. When the Maximal team investigated her ship at the crash site, they had managed to find her, but she was in a feral state. In her mobile, possibly carnivorous vegetation mode, she lashed at them and then fled underground, spreading seeds as she went. The seeds immediately sprouted into various plants, the most insidious being rapidly-growing vines. Primal was worried that, left unchecked, the plants she was producing would "destroy" the planet. She was somehow drawn to the Technorganic orchard (and, Cheetor noted, its pipeline to the planet's organic core). Catching up with her there just in time, Primal noticed that she was sparking the way the Maximals had when they were infected with Megatron's virus. This gave him the idea to reformat her, which restored her sanity. She explained that "Megatron's attack shorted out my ship, along with my higher reasoning protocols." As such, she was acting out of pure self-preservation against anyone she assumed was hostile towards her, but once she could think clearly, she became an instant ally. This was lucky for the Maximals, who were immediately set upon by Vehicons. Botanica converted to robot mode (notably without any training from Primal) and unleashed a chain-lightning attack that reduced a phalanx of Tank Drones to dust and scrap.
However, she seldom used her weaponry, arguing that the more the Maximals fought Megatron, the more they became like him. She instead spent all her time and energy tending to the orchard. Although Cheetor and Blackarachnia resented this, Primal accepted her reasons, and also reminded his team that they were more than enough to fight Megatron and Thrust. However, Botanica soon received a vision from the Matrix, which showed her how much pain Cybertron was in. Botanica abandoned her pacifism and joined in the fight, saving the Maximals from a trap Obsidian and Strika had formed.
When Megatron was presumed dead, Botanica returned her focus to the orchard, with the help of a reluctant Rattrap. They began arguing over the other's respective priorities, but eventually kissed. Despite pledging to delete it from memory, they showed obvious concern for each other. When the still-alive Megatron launched an attack on the Maximal-held Grand Mal, they were forced to raise the shields, which cut Botanica off from the organic core. Rattrap jettisoned her into an escape pod with a field projecting the same harmonics as the Grand Mal's shields, saving Botanica's life but also allowing Megatron to fire through the shields.
When Megatron was finally destroyed and Cybertron was at last reformatted, Botanica eventually formed a romantic relationship with Rattrap. So she likes small rodents. Deal with it.
Universe: Featuring the Wreckers
- Botanica's pre-production name was Binary.
- Botanica is a rarity, in that she was a major recurring heroic character in a Transformers television show, but was apparently never intended to have a toy.
- Assuming the Transformer seen in silhouette at right is Botanica, she remains the only plant-based Transformer ever seen in the canon. She states the other members of her crew also took plant modes, so she's not unique within the fictional universe. However, judging by the reactions of Optimus Primal and the other Maximals, they had either never heard of "Plantformers" before, or they are extremely rare. (Saberback and Sling could each partially transform themselves into plant-like shapes for disguise purposes, but in both the toys and the fiction these were not "full-body" transformations, instead more like a cloaking mode, and they were never purported to be living plants.) However, this unique rarity could be the fact that she was the only plant-based Transformer shown in the series.
- Yet another point of rarity: she has four hands in plant mode (her arms divide at the elbow), and no true legs (she has roots in plant mode, and a sort of "hoverskirt" in robot mode). Also, parts of her robot mode are partially translucent, showing the energon veins in her body as well as her spark.
- Another oddity: Botanica's technorganic transformation is different from all the others; instead of being surrounded by coloured lights, a ring of technorganic plants spring up, and shrink down, revealing her robot mode.
- Despite her pacifist ways, Botanica is well-armed, with several weapons at her disposal, including energy projectiles, electrical fields, and a "chain-lightning" attack that leaps from one enemy to another. Huh. Surprisingly well-armed for someone who doesn't like to fight.
- The planet that Botanica and her crew were sent to explore is apparently Planet Jungle from Mainframe Entertainment's other toyline-based cartoon Shadow Raiders/War Planets. Whether this is an intentional crossover or simply due to the recycling of backgrounds and animation models for budget reasons is unclear.