A single plant based alien is traveling in a spaceship in a kind of hibernation. It is implied he is escaping some conflict. The spaceship is seed-like, and made of unknown organic material. The alien communicates with the ship via vines/roots almost telepathically. The ship is detected by a large human ship. It docks in the human ship and the humans are very excited. They try to communicate with the alien by showing it images of Earth. At first it doesn't respond, but then it does respond positively to images of the rainforest. The humans show the alien an image of themselves and the alien realizes they are "red-bloods" the same type of creature that killed his people. The alien is enraged and suicide bombs the human ship with some plant based weapon.

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This is "Flowering Mandrake" (1994) by George Turner; I read it in Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction, Twelfth Annual Collection, which I do not have to hand right now. I did find the following summary:

[...] the theme is of first contact with an alien intelligence. The catch is that the alien concerned is a plant-like being with an evolutionary revulsion against mammalian forms. Early in the story it is revealed that there has been and interplanetary war between the Green Folk of this being's world and the Red-Bloods of a world in the same star system. For the Green Folk "Evolution... had been a million year struggle against domination by emerging red-blooded forms and their eventual supremacy had been achieved only by ruthless self-preservation — the destruction of all competition." During the destructive war in the Capella system, a junior military officer of the Green Folk evacuates his ironwood military ship and, after 8,000 years, drifts in his escape pod into the Terran solar system, his body preserved in a state of Transformation sleep, a form of suspended animation. Deep in space, Outer Planets Search and Rescue under Commander Ali Musad mounts an operation to investigate the alien escape pod. The outcome is disastrous, although it is made clear that Musad has acted competently and prudently in the circumstances as understood by him. In Turner's no-nonsense style, the narrative concludes:

Heads fell on the political chopping block, Musad's first among the offerings to the smug virtue of scapegoating.
First contact between intelligent cultures had been made.

Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction


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