Each PLANT-type space colony has the appearance of a large hourglass. The disc-shaped areas at the two ends make up the living area of the colonies, with each disc having a diameter of ten kilometers. These discs rotate around the central hub, thus providing artificial gravity for the inhabitants. The two discs are anchored to the central hub by a 30-kilometer long central shaft, as well as a network of high-tension strings and a high-speed elevator running from the center of each disc to the hub. The hub is also connected to external mirrors, which reflect sunlight into the living areas, and external docks for incoming space vessels to dock.
The PLANT homeland is located at Lagrange 5 and made up of twelve "cities", each incorporating ten colonies for a total of 120. These cities are named for a month of the Roman Calendar (Aprilius, Junius, etc.), with the colonies of each city numbered from one to ten (ex. Januarius One, December Eight). Each city has a scientific or industrial specialty which are as following:
|Januarius City||Basic and applied microengineering|
|Februarius City||Basic and clinical medicine, biochemistry, molecular biology, applied somatology|
|Martius City||Aerospace engineering, shipbuilding|
|Aprilius City||Astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, space planetary science, space life sciences|
|Maius City||Applied mechanical engineering, basic and applied metallurgy, applied materials engineering, robotics engineering|
|Junius City||Basic and applied agricultural science, social engineering|
|Quintilis City||Basic and applied chemistry|
|Sextilis City||Basic physics, theoretical physics, particle physics, higher-dimensional physics, mathematics|
|September City||City Electronics, information engineering, artificial intelligence engineering, information science|
|October City||Social sciences|
|November City||Multipurpose practical industrial engineering|
|December City||Elementary education|
The government of the PLANT cities is the PLANT Supreme Council on Aprilius One which was originally formed to deal with the UN directorate of PLANT-sponsored nations, and their military is the Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty or ZAFT for short. The PLANTs are described as one nation by some characters, but they are in fact several different nations (each PLANT city can be considered an independent nation) united in their common heritage and the need for protection. The word "PLANT" is actually sometimes used to referred to all the PLANTs as a whole (again as if they were a single nation), and the term ZAFT is also used to (incorrectly) describe the PLANTs.
The concept of the PLANT-type space colonies was first proposed by George Glenn, the first Coordinator, while he was examining Evidence 01 at the Zodiac research facility. Construction of these new colonies eventually started at Lagrange 5 in CE 38 with funding coming from the Atlantic Federation, the Eurasian Federation and the Republic of East Asia. The acronym of PLANT at this time stood for Productive Loccasion Ally on Nexus Technology, and as the name suggested they were built primarily as manufacturing and research facilities. In CE 44, the first ten PLANT-type colonies were completed (later known as Aprilius City) and began to serve as large-scale production sites, although they were prohibited from making their own food.
The PLANTs eventually became home for the growing Coordinator population, who fled growing persecution on Earth. Nevertheless, the PLANTs became a target of terrorist actions against Coordinators, which only strengthened the dissatisfaction of their population, who didn't have their own government. In CE 50, the Zodiac Alliance was formed by Siegel Clyne and Patrick Zala to strengthen the independence of PLANT, but the group was suppressed by the sponsor nations.
In CE 53, George Glenn was assassinated and the PLANT Supreme Council is formed, with a representative of each city. As anti-Coordinator sentiments grew, most Coordinators living on Earth left for the PLANTs. During this time, the sponsor nations stationed their military forces at the PLANT homeland while at the same time making more profit from PLANT-produced goods. While terrorism against Coordinators continued, the Zodiac Alliance grew in strength and is reformed as the Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty under the leadership of Patrick Zala.
In CE 68 and 69, PLANT and ZAFT began to strengthen their independence by producing their own food and creating their own armed forces, which used the newly built Mobile Suits, who eventually drove the armed forces of the sponsor nations out of PLANT homeland, effectively making PLANT an independent nation. The relationship between PLANT and Earth declined over time and when the senior leadership of the United Nations was killed in a bombing at Copernicus City, the Earth Alliance is formed and it declared war on PLANT on February 11, CE 70.
On February 14, CE 70, the space fleet of the Earth Alliance fired a nuclear warhead at the Junius Seven PLANT, destroying it and killing 243,721 innocent civilians, in what later became known as the Bloody Valentine Incident. This started a full fledged war known as the First Alliance-PLANT War between the two nations. PLANT, however, was mostly spared from further attacks, thanks to its deployment of Neutron Jammers, which prevent the use of nuclear weapons and reactors. However, when the plans of the Neutron Jammer Canceller fall into the hands of the EA, they launch a massive nuclear attack on the PLANT homeland, which is prevented from hitting any colony thanks to the efforts of the Three Ships Alliance. On September 27, CE 71, the war eventually came to an end.
Afterward, construction of new PLANT-type colonies resumed with a least one new colony built at Lagrange 4 known as Armory One. It was also after the war, that the acronym of the word PLANT was changed by the citizens of PLANT to People Liberation Acting Nation of Technology to reflect their independent status.
After the fall of the debris of Junius Seven in CE 73, the Second Alliance-PLANT War between PLANT and the EA broke out, which resulted in another massive nuclear attack on the PLANT homeland. This attack was however thwarted by the prototype Neutron Stampeder. Near the end of the war, Lord Djibril attacked PLANT with the superweapon Requiem in an attempt to destroy Aprilius One. However because of the intervention of the Joule Squad the beam misses its target and instead directly hit Januarius 1-4 and caused December 7 and 8 to collapse, leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of Coordinators.
ZAFT is a military organization and the official military of the PLANT colonies. It is essentially a militia made up of civilian volunteers (and thus has no formal rank structure) controlled by the PLANT Supreme Council, with its members reporting directly to the chairman of the National Defense Committee. Its headquarters is located at the ZAFT military station.
It was originally formed in C.E. 50 by Patrick Zala and Siegel Clyne as the political alliance known as the Zodiac Alliance to peacefully fight for the rights and independence of Coordinators, but their organization was suppressed by the nations controlling PLANT at that time. In C.E. 65, after years of activity and attracting more followers, the name changed into its final name "ZAFT", with its members becoming the dominant force in the PLANT Supreme Council. Since nearly all ZAFT members are Coordinators, they are able to fight the numerically superior EA forces on equal grounds, thanks to their superior physical and mental abilities.
- The PLANT flag was first seen in Episode 11 of Destiny, at the graveyard where Nicol Amalfi rests. Since only the ZAFT flag was seen before, the PLANT flag was created specifically to make the graveyard feel less like a military base.
- In Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, the Alpha Numbers are utterly shocked at the fact that the PLANTs existed and no one knew about them until right then. The in-game explanation was because Blue Cosmos was able to repress knowledge of the PLANTs and Coordinators for quite some time.