A perennial is a non-woody plant that lives for more than two years. Frequently the word is used to mean a plant in which the top growth dies down in winter and regrows the following spring, but some perennials keep their leaves all year.
A plant which lives from year to year, starting into growth again each spring. Some perennial plants are herbaceous and dies down each year, remaining dormant beneath the ground throughout the winter. Others are trees or shrubs; some lose their leaves in winter (deciduous trees), while others retain their leaves throughout the year and their growth slows down in winter (evergreen trees).
Perennials produce crops every year. Usually the first year after planting there is little or no harvest. Perennial crops may last from 3 to 30 years depending on the type. In general, the larger the plant, the longer its productive life. However, all perennial crops require special attention not required by annuals, e.g. pruning.
A plant that lives for more than two years, usually flowering each year. The vegetative parts commonly die back in the winter, regrowing in the spring from dormant underground systems or structures such as rhizomes.
a plant that dies down to the ground in cold weather, but remains alive beneath the soil to emerge again when the weather warms. Phlox, some milkweeds, asters, and coneflower are all examples of perennials.
with a lifespan extending over more than two growing seasons. In this book the term is often used in the horticultural sense of 'herbaceous perennial' that is, a non-woody plant that lives for more than two seasons.
a plant that can live more than 2 years. References Hatch, Stephen and James Stubbendieck, and Charles Butterfield, 1991. North American Range Plants. Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE. Johnson, James and James Nichols, 1982. Plants of S. Dakota Grasslands. SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007. Hitchcock, A.J., 1971. Manual of Grasses of the U.S. Dover Publications, New York. Looman, Jan, 1982. Prairie Grasses, Pub. 1413.Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Ottawa, Canada VanBruggen, Theodore, 1983. Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Plants of the Northern Plains and Black Hills. Badlands Natural History Assoc., Interior, SD 57750.
n, adj A plant whose life cycle is more than two years. The term "perennial" refers only to the plant's normal life cycle. It does not imply that a plant is cold hardy. For example, geraniums ( Pelargonium spp.) are usually called annuals because they die in the fall. However, if a Pelargonium is taken indoors for the winter or grown in the tropics, it will continue to bloom for years. Pelargoniums are clearly perennials. See tender perennial. Nor does "perennial" imply that the plant will die back in the winter. Hedges, topiaries, and trees are perennials that do not die back, although the deciduous ones do go dormant. (You don't think of trees as "perennials"? Then take another look at the definition above, and see if trees don't fit.)
There are two types. Herbaceous non-woody (soft and fleshy) plants die back each year and grow and bloom each successive year. Woody perennials (such as shrubs and trees) have a period of dormancy but maintain their form year round.
A plant that lives for three or more seasons. Perennials may not bloom the first season planted, especially ones that are shipped bareroot. We do not guarantee that our perennials will bloom the first year.