The Dark Spore (暗黒の種 Ankoku no Tane?, lit. "Dark Seed") is a sinister device that slowly drives its human host evil while increasing their intelligence and athletic ability. The copies, being imperfect, would slowly grow into a Dark Flower (暗黒の花 Ankoku no Hana?) and, if not harvested, consume the human body to become a Dark Tree (暗黒の樹木 Ankoku no Jumoku?).
The dark flower is designed to look like a globe-shaped "Spider Lily", also known as the "Higanbana"「彼岸花」, which is used to symbolize death, loss, longing, abandonment, and lost memories.
The first known Dark Spore came into being during Ken Ichijouji's first adventure in the Digital World. When Milleniummon was destroyed, his data turned into Dark Spores and one attempted to bury itself in Ryo Akiyama per the Digimon's will. However, because of Ken shoving Ryo away, the spore instead buried itself into Ken's neck, exerting its influence on him. Since then, it grew within Ken and was later harvested and implanted into other children by Yukio Oikawa.
Dark Spores slowly and subtly increase the intelligence of their human hosts to genius levels as well as greatly increasing their athletic abilities. However, just as they increase the abilities of their hosts, they also slowly and drastically alter its host's personality towards malicious tendencies.
Because of the Spore draws power from its host's negative emotions such as rage, fear, hopelessness, and despair, it effects can be negated if the host's positive emotions is stronger than their negative emotions. This is shown when Ken realized that he had done terrible things, and later on when he befriended the other DigiDestined, as well the the Dark Spore Children regaining their dream, hope, and courage from Davis' enthusiasm and encouragement.
When cloned, the Spore will eventually bloom into Dark Flowers and will grow from there into Dark Trees, killing the human host. When Yukio Oikawa implanted the Spores into several children, however, he harvested the Dark Flowers before they could become Dark Trees. Knowing that Dark Spores fed off the innocence that allowed a child to travel to the Digital World, he intended to use them to travel to the Digital World himself. In reality, he was being controlled by Myotismon who used the Dark Flowers to gain power and become MaloMyotismon. He deceived Oikawa into going to a world made up of wishes in an attempt to finally kill the DigiDestined before he was killed himself.
In addition, Daemon is also interested in Ken's Dark Spore, but he is sealed within the Dark Ocean before his purpose is revealed.