From the Super Mario Wiki
Floro Cragniens are the brainwashed version of Cragnons. They were brainwashed by minions of King Croacus IV in order to get back at them for throwing garbage in the water that the Floro Sapiens thrive on. The name "Floro Cragnien" is derived from "Floro Sapien" and "Cragnon". The difference between Cragnons and Floro Cragniens is that the latter wear a Floro Sprout on their head, which is presumably a mind-control device used by the fiends. Later in the game, Mario must wear a dead Floro Sprout on his head in order to pass through a special gate that leads to the Floro Sapiens inner chambers.
If the heroes jump on, or otherwise defeat, a Floro Cragnien, they will lose 100 points. An obvious indicator that they are innocent bystanders who need to be rescued instead of being fought.
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