What are some examples of short lived plants

Botanical definition

Annual plants, also annual plants called, are herbaceous plants that require a vegetation period from germination of the seed, through formation of the entire plant, formation of the flowering and fertilization to the maturity of the new seed, and die after the maturity of the seed (dry up or rot). The vegetation period can be limited by frost or drought. Annual herbaceous plants are therophytes, they do not form organs of persistence (they neither lignify nor form rhizomes, tubers, bulbs, etc.).

Horticultural definition

As Annual plant In a narrower sense, from a horticultural point of view, one describes short-lived plants that only bloom for one summer and die after the seed has formed. This clearly distinguishes them from biennial and perennial plants. Typical annuals are for example:

Also as Annuals or more horticulturally correct than Annuals drawn one describes those plants that are perennial in their home country, in the temperate latitudes do not survive the winter due to the climate (frost) These include, for example, the cultural forms of Tagetes.

Annual or annually describes the flowering behavior of plants that flower in the same cultivation period (examples: lettuce, all summer flowers). This means that if the seeds are sown or planted in spring, they will usually bloom and seeds will ripen in summer and autumn. As the seeds ripen, the plant exhausts itself and dies.

Two year olds or winter annual Plants need a cold stimulus to bloom. They usually bloom in spring and the seed ripens in summer. Examples of this are numerous vegetables such as leeks or cabbage; these plants also die when the seeds ripen.

Annual and biennial plants never lignify. Likewise, perennial plants need a cold stimulus to form flowers, but do not die after flowering. There are herbaceous perennial and woody perennial plants.

As Annuellen corridor denotes a population of predominantly annual plants.

Differences between annual and perennial plants

The lifespan of the plants is an adaptation to the form of winter or the temperature.

Annual plants (Annuelle) survive the period without vegetation (overwintering in a cold climate, "over-summering" in a hot, dry climate: deserts) as a dormant embryo protected in the seed. They have no organs of renewal (tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, etc.). The plant body itself dies.

Perennial plants (also perennials or perennials) have organs of persistence that can withstand hostile environmental influences (frost, drought). With them, the plant body or at least parts of it remain intact (see above).

Perennial plants include:

The woody plants (all trees and bushes), with them the renewing tissue (cambium) is protected by a layer of dead tissue (bark) and the renewal buds are over 50 cm above the ground.

Half and dwarf shrubs have renewing buds in the range 10 - 50 cm above the ground. They are protected in winter by the insulating layer of snow, so an adaptation to snowy winters. Many high mountain plants use this overwintering technique, e.g. the silver arum (Dryas) or snow heather (Erica). Often, heavily branched, woody, dense plant bodies form with green plant parts on the outside (rosette plants).

Surface plants (hemicryptophytes) have their renewal buds directly on the surface of the earth and are protected by direct contact with the ground. They often form dense clumps to protect the buds. A typical example are winter cereals or perennial grasses, or perennials with runners above ground (e.g. wild strawberries). The above-ground parts of the plant die off and thus protect the buds. This also includes the biennial plants that form the plant body in one year in order to form storage substances that in the next year also nourish the parts of the plant that form the seeds, they therefore often have thickened roots or shoots. (e.g. kitchen onions, carrots, dandelions)

Plants that sprout from the earth (cryptophytes, geophytes) keep their buds hidden under the earth and are therefore well protected. Typical examples are the bulbous and tuberous plants (tulip, crocus, etc.), but also the perennials that have their hibernating buds on their roots.


Web links

Pictures of annual plants from the picture archive of the University of Basel