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Generic Plant Symbols

Generic plant symbols allow you to place trees, shrubs, and ground covers before you have decided on the specific plants you would like to use in your project. When you place generic plants in your project, they essentially act as placeholders until you have finalized your plant palette.




Ready to replace your generic plant symbols with actual project plants? Our Match Properties tool can convert generic plants with project plants at any time.

Generic Plants vs. Concept Plants vs. Project Plants

We offer three basic ways of placing plants in your drawings, each with its own specific purpose in the design phase:

  • Generic Plants are “dumb” plant blocks (that is, they have no data attached to them). Designing with Generic Plants is like designing the old way – just putting plant symbols in your drawing without assigning them to plants from a database. Essentially, they serve as placeholders until you’re ready to replace them with actual plants from our database using our Match Properties tool.
  • You can use Concept Plants to complete a high-level conversation plan with the client before locking into your final plants. You can replace them with actual plants from our database when ready.
  • The Plant Manager is for when you know the exact plants you want to use.

Generic Plant Symbols Overview

Open our Generic Plant tool:


F/X Planting ribbon, Generic Plant Symbols button



Planting toolbar

F/X Planting pull-down menu




or by typing FX_PlaceGenericTrees in the Command line



The Planting dialog box will open.




1. Select the plant type (Trees, Shrubs, or Groundcover) you want to place as a generic plant.



2. Select a category for your generic plant symbol. Each category represents generic plants with a distinct appearance.



3. Thumbnail images and names of the generic symbols in the selected category appear in this pane. Scroll up and down to see all symbols in the selected category using the scroll bar to the right.



4. Click Edit to view and change information about the selected Generic Plant symbol.

Placing Generic Plants

Placing Generic Trees and Shrubs

When you select a generic tree or shrub symbol and click OK, the dialog box will close and the AutoCAD Command line will prompt: Position.


Clickwhere you want to place the plant. The generic symbol will appear in that location, and the Command line will prompt: Scale.


Move your mouse toward the center of the symbol to make it smaller, or away from the center to make it larger. When the generic symbol is the right size, click again with your mouse.


Once you've selected a Generic Plant and placed it in your drawing, you can move your mouse outward to make the plant larger, and inward to make it smaller.

Here's an example of what happens when you move the mouse outward.

Entering a Symbol Width

At this point, you can also choose to type a width for the Generic Plant symbol you're placing, which will be expressed in your chosen drawing units. So, for example, if your drawing is set to Decimal Feet, and you type 10.5 while being prompted to set a scale, the sybbol you're placing will be 10.5 feet wide.




Once you've set a size for a Generic Tree or Shrub, you can continue to place symbols in that same size.




Keyboard Commands for Placing Generic Trees and Shrubs

When placing Generic trees or shrubs, you can type K to see the available keyboard commands.


These commands correspond to the keyboard commands available in our Plant Shotgun feature.







Type any of the following commands on your keyboard. (The Keyboard Commands dialog box is only informational – the key buttons won't actually fire the commands.)

  • 1–0: Set a number of Generic Plants to place (aka Shotgun Mode).
  • Q/E: Toggle to the previous/next available Generic Plant symbol.
  • T: Enter Paint Mode, where you can "paint" an area with copies of the selected Generic Plant.
  • W/S: If placing multiple Generic Plants, set a wider/smaller spacing for them (aka Shotgun Spacing).
  • A/D: Rotate the Generic Plant(s) you are placing to the left/right.
  • X: Enable our Xhair Angle tool, which allows you to place Generic Plants at a set angle.
  • V: Switch to our Copy along Line tool.
  • C: Switch to our Copy along Arc tool.




Placing Generic Groundcovers

Groundcovers are placed as hatches, much like these plant categories when used as normal project plants. As with project plants, you can either select an existing polyline boundary to place one of these planting areas, or draw a polyline boundary on the fly.



Drawing a Hatch Boundary "On the Fly"

If you haven't yet drawn a polyline boundary for a Generic groundcover, you can do so "on the fly" after selecting your hatch pattern.



When you go to place a planting area, the Command line will prompt you to Select polyline or interior point to hatch, [Draw Exclude shrubs Multiple].



Start drawing your closed polyline. Once you close it, the hatched area will appear within the polyline boundary.


In previous versions, drawing your hatch boundary on the fly would require you to first type D for Draw. We've now built in the ability to simply start drawing your closed polyline. As long as the first point you select isn't an existing polyline, the Draw command will be fired automatically.


This feature works with all of our default hatch types, including:

Editing a Generic Plant Symbol

To edit a Generic Plant symbol, select it and click Edit.




The following dialog box will open, displaying information about the selected plant.



1. This pane displays a larger view of the plant symbol.


2. If you want, type a Description for the Generic Plant.


3. Select one of three options for the Generic Plant's Scale:

  • Manual (allows you to scale the plant symbol manually)
  • Dimscale
  • 1:1


4. Select the Units for your Generic Plant symbol using this menu. Note that this menu is only available if you select either Dimscale or 1:1 from the Scale options.


5. Select a Rotation option for your symbol:

  • Manual
  • No Rotation (the default option)

Saving a Groundcover or Shrub Area Symbol Using Generic Plants

Groundcovers and Shrub Areas are represented by hatch patterns, but you can add to our library of hatch patterns for these items. The Generic Plants tool offers a quick way to find out which hatch patterns are available for these items. For instructions on saving a ground cover or shrub area using the Generic Plants tool, see our Saving a Groundcover or Shrub Area Symbol page.

Replacing Generic Plants With Project Plants Using the Match Properties Tool

We've optimized our Match Properties tool to convert generic plants to project plants – that is, specific variations you've added to your project from our database.






Arraying Generic Plants

Our Triangular Array and Rectangular Array tools now work with generic plants. These tools allow you to copy a plant and arrange the duplicates into a fixed arrayed pattern.

For more information, see our Array Plants documentation.

Generic Plants and Plant Shadows

You can now use our Plant Shadows tool to apply shadows to Generic Plant symbols.


Issue: Blocks or hatches are not available when you try to select a symbol


Issue: You are unable to scale Generic Plants when placing them


Issue: Bad DXF group (10) error when placing a Generic Plant

Last modified on Friday, 08 January 2021 12:40

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