Even though the Guardians of the Galaxy's resident plant-life member was well into his teenage years in Avengers: Infinity War, fans still can't seem to forget about Baby Groot, who was born from older Groot's sacrifice in the final moments of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2.
Director James Gunn has gone on record as saying Baby Groot is the original Groot's son, reiterating that Baby Groot has no memory of his dad’s allies from the first film, meaning that he was effectively raised by the Guardians. However, British-Malaysian botanist James Wong has decided to dispute this explanation, claiming Baby Groot is a clone of his deceased counterpart.
THE BIOLOGY OF BABY GROOT. ⬇️— James Wong (@Botanygeek) May 7, 2018
Baby groot is created from a cutting of Groot, an ambulant alien plant who dies at the end of the 1st Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Geeks are hotly debating whether he is a ‘son’ of Groot or just Groot living on.
Botanist to the rescue... pic.twitter.com/7NqKI65M9l
Baby Groot is the result of a form of asexual reproduction known as vegetative propagation.— James Wong (@Botanygeek) May 7, 2018
Plants, unlike most animals, retain their stem cells through their lives. So cloning them is super easy.
Baby Groot is therefore a perfect genetic clone of Big Groot. pic.twitter.com/l5Dqaw4DCZ
And finally, as we now know even Earth plants can process complex information about the world around them & retain it without the need for a centralised storage organ like animals need (ie a brain).— James Wong (@Botanygeek) May 7, 2018
If Baby groot is a cutting, it is likely it retains Big Groot’s memories!😱 pic.twitter.com/1dpM4Dubl2
Wong first references how Baby Groot is created from one of Adult Groot's broken twigs. Thus, Baby Groot is formed from vegetative propagation, a type of asexual reproduction since plants retain their original stem cells. The final piece of the puzzle is knowing that Earth plants can retain information around itself, even without a living brain for storage. Wong ends with, "If Baby groot is a cutting, it is likely it retains Big Groot’s memories!"
What we have on our hands is a case of a cloned Groot that possesses all of the dead Groot's memories. Again, this goes against Gunn's claim that the young shrub has no memories of his allies, but if what the botanist said is true, then it gives a whole new spin on Teenage Groot's final words in Infinity War.
In theaters now, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.