Bulbasaur is a small, quadruped Pokémon that has blue-green skin with darker patches. It has red eyes with white pupils, pointed, ear-like structures on top of its head, and a short, blunt snout with a wide mouth. A pair of small, pointed teeth are visible in the upper jaw when its mouth is open. Each of its thick legs ends with three sharp claws. On its back is a green plant bulb, which is grown from a seed planted there at birth. The bulb provides it with energy through photosynthesis as well as from the nutrient-rich seeds contained within.
As mentioned in the anime, starter Pokémon are raised by Breeders to be distributed to new Trainers. Having been domesticated from birth, Bulbasaur is regarded as both a rare and well-behaved Pokémon. It is known to be extremely loyal, even after long-term abandonment. Bulbasaur has also shown itself to be an excellent caretaker, even having a special technique called the "Bulba-by." To perform this technique, Bulbasaur uses its vines to pick up a young Pokémon and soothingly rocks it in the air.
It is found in grasslands and forests throughout the Kanto region. However, due to Bulbasaur's status as starter Pokémon, it is hard to come by in the wild and generally found under the ownership of a Trainer. It has been observed that a Bulbasaur's bulb will flash blue when it is ready to evolve. If it does not want to evolve, it struggles to resist the transformation. Many Bulbasaur gather every year in a hidden garden in Kanto to evolve into Ivysaur in a ceremony led by a Venusaur. Bulbasaur and its evolved forms are the only known Pokémon capable of learning Vine Whip in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
In the main series
Ash's Bulbasaur debuted in Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village as one of the Pokémon in the Hidden Village, thus also marking the species' physical debut. Though initially wary of Ash, the two eventually warmed up to one another, and Bulbasaur challenged him to a battle. Using Pikachu, Ash won the battle, and Bulbasaur was caught. Unlike Charmander and Squirtle, which were caught in the two episodes following that of Bulbasaur, Bulbasaur remained in Ash's party for most of his journey through Johto until Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!, when Ash sent him to Professor Oak's lab to work as an ambassador between otherwise argumentative groups of Pokémon.
Much later on, while Ash was traveling in the Hoenn region, May caught her own Bulbasaur after being separated from the group in Grass Hysteria!. She remained with her throughout the rest of her journey in Hoenn, helping her to win the Purika Contest and place Top 8 in the regional Grand Festival. When she traveled to Kanto to continue her journey with Ash in The Right Place and the Right Mime, May, too, left her Bulbasaur at Professor Oak's Laboratory to learn from Ash's while she, Ash, Max, and Brock traveled throughout the Kanto region. May retrieved her during her travels in Johto, where she evolved all the way into a Venusaur.
Shauna's starter Pokémon is a Bulbasaur she received from Professor Sycamore. It first appeared in Summer of Discovery!, and it was revealed to have evolved into Ivysaur by Tag Team Battle Inspiration!
In Mewtwo Strikes Back, a Bulbasaur was cloned from Ash's own Bulbasaur. It then participated in the battle between the original Pokémon and the cloned Pokémon. Bulbasaur reappeared in Mewtwo Returns.
In The Mystery Menace, a Bulbasaur was abandoned by the Mayor of Trovitopolis during his childhood when it wouldn't evolve into Ivysaur. Since then, it grew to a very large size in the sewers. Aided by Misty and Tracey, Ash found the abandoned Bulbasaur while searching for his own, which had been taken by the giant Bulbasaur. After defeating the arrogant mayor and his personal SWAT team, Ash and his friends left the Bulbasaur with Nurse Joy.
In Journey to the Starting Line!, Gilbert was supposed to start his journey as a Pokémon Trainer with one of the three Kanto starter Pokémon, but they were scared off by Ash's Tauros, forcing Gilbert to set out to find them with Professor Oak, Tracey, and Delia. Bulbasaur was the last one to be found, having been stuck in a tree that was surrounded by a group of Primeape. In the end, Bulbasaur was chosen by Gilbert as his starter Pokémon.
In A Six Pack Attack!, a Bulbasaur went with Professor Oak on his trip to Hoenn along with a Charmander and Squirtle.
In The Right Place and The Right Mime, another Bulbasaur was seen in Professor Oak's possession, along with another Charmander and Squirtle.
In Ivysaur's Mysterious Tower!, an outbreak of Bulbasaur and Ivysaur traveled to a Gym that was under construction in Vermilion City. Ash and Goh, who were investigating the outbreak, followed them to the Gym and realized the horde had gone there so the Bulbasaur could absorb the sunlight necessary to evolve into new Ivysaur.
In Pokémon - I Choose You!, Ash dreamed about Bulbasaur as his prospective starter.
In Battle Aboard the St. Anne, multiple Bulbasaur were aboard the St. Anne.
In Pokémon Fashion Flash, a Bulbasaur was on Scissor Street.
A Bulbasaur appeared in The Breeding Center Secret.
In Friends to the End, a Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared during the closing ceremonies of the Indigo Plateau Conference.
A starter Bulbasaur appeared in a flashback in Don't Touch That 'dile.
In Gonna Rule The School!, the Pokémon Trainers' School lent a Bulbasaur to the school's underage students for use in lessons.
A Bulbasaur appeared in the opening sequence of Jirachi: Wish Maker.
A Coordinator's Bulbasaur appeared in What I Did for Love!.
In An Old Family Blend!, a Trainer's Bulbasaur competed in the Lily of the Valley Conference.
In Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade, a Bulbasaur watched Meloetta's concert.
In The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!, a Bulbasaur was part of Professor Oak's demonstration of the Kanto starters at the Kanto Fair.
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in Crystal-Clear Sleuthing!.
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in I Choose You!. Another was revealed to have been chosen by Marina as her starter Pokémon in a flashback.
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in Balloons, Brionne, and Belligerence!.
Two Trainers' Bulbasaur appeared in The Power of Us.
In Securing the Future!, a Trainer's Bulbasaur joined the rest of Alola in showering Necrozma with light so it could return to its normal form.
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in The Road to The Semifinals!.
Multiple Bulbasaur appeared in Enter Pikachu!, with one under the ownership of a Trainer and the rest being wild.
In Legend? Go! Friends? Go!, Professor Cerise offered a Bulbasaur to Goh to be his starter, but it was rejected.
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in JN016.
||Bulbasaur. It bears the seed of a plant on its back from birth. The seed slowly develops. Researchers are unsure whether to classify Bulbasaur as a plant or animal. Bulbasaur are extremely tough and very difficult to capture in the wild.
||Solar Beam, Bulbasaur's strongest attack. Light is collected and formed into a powerful beam with intensive force.
||Bulbasaur, the Seed Pokémon. A young Bulbasaur uses the nutrients from its seed for the energy it needs to grow.
In Pokémon Origins
In File 1: Red, a Bulbasaur was seen in Professor Oak's introduction, while another was one of the Pokémon that Oak was giving away.
In Pokémon Generations
In The Adventure, Red's Bulbasaur was sent out to battle a wild Pikachu, which Red successfully caught.
In the Ash & Pikachu manga
- Main article: Ash's Bulbasaur
Ash's Bulbasaur appeared in Do Your Best Bulbasaur!!.
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
- Main article: Ash's Bulbasaur
Ash's Bulbasaur debuts in You Gotta Have Friends. Bulbasaur's capture is not shown; it is simply stated when it first appears from its Poké Ball that "Ash has been busy since the last comic".
In I'm Your Venusaur, Ash and Misty travel to a town inhabited by many Bulbasaur, Ivysaur and Venusaur. There is a local legend that a giant Venusaur saved the townsfolk in battle.
In the Magical Pokémon Journey manga
- Main article: Bulbasaur (MPJ)
In Magical Pokémon Journey, Pistachio's Bulbasaur has a crush on him and is extremely jealous whenever she sees him talking to other females.
In the movie adaptations
- Main article: Ash's Bulbasaur
Ash's Bulbasaur appeared in Mewtwo Strikes Back!, Mirage Pokémon Lugia's Explosive Birth, and Emperor of the Crystal Tower: Entei.
A Bulbasaur appeared in a flashback in ICYR1, under the ownership of Professor Oak.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
- Main article: Saur
In Bulbasaur, Come Home!, Red receives a Bulbasaur from Professor Oak after helping capture all of the Pokémon he accidentally set free. Bulbasaur, now nicknamed Saur, has since evolved into Ivysaur, and then into Venusaur. It has also been shown in the manga that Bulbasaur has the ability to suck in large amounts of air through his bulb, as seen in That Awful Arbok!, where he sucked up the mist in Pokémon Tower, as well as the Gastly that made it.
A Bulbasaur appeared as a silhouette when Green talks about Mew in The Jynx Jinx.
Professor Sycamore owns a Bulbasaur, as seen in PS552.
In the Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys manga
A Trainer's Bulbasaur appeared in Let's Fight For The Future!!.
In the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga
A Bulbasaur appeared in GDZ34.
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga
A Bulbasaur appeared in Introducing the Pokémon Clefairy!! as one of the starter Pokémon Red and Green had to choose from.
In the Pokémon Zensho manga
Bulbasaur appeared as one of the starter Pokémon Professor Oak was giving away in PZ01.