Flowering plants are the focal points in nearly all garden layouts. Besides the color, shape and height difference, they vary in their growing habit. While the annual and biennial plants complete their life cycle in 1 and 2 years respectively, the perennial plant (or simply perennial) thrives for more than 2 years provided that growth conditions are ideal.
But, are there any ways to identify this perennial plant? Yes, there are certain aspects to perennial plant identification, which we will discuss in the following paragraphs.
Gardening with Perennial Plants
How to Identify Perennial Plants in the Garden?
They are highly diverse group of plants, which include small ground cover grasses measuring a few millimeters in height to the giant trees that grow over 100 feet. While some species survive for 3 years only, the large trees have a lifespan of more than 1,000 years.
Coming to the topic of our discussion 'identification of perennial plants', it is not so easy to key out these plant types. However, with close examination and brief understanding about plant life cycle, you can identify perennials correctly.
✦ Identification of perennial plants in terms of their lifespan is discussed already. The leaves may die back in specific seasons, but they restore normal growth afterward. Nevertheless, not many gardeners have the time and patience to check whether they grow continuously for successive years or not.
✦ Deciduous perennial plants are those species, the leaves of which fall in winter season (e.g., mint, hosta). On the other hand, evergreen perennials and/or woody perennials retain their leaf in all seasons (e.g. banana plant, hibiscus). This way, perennial plant identification by leaves is done.
✦ The next feature that helps you point out perennial plants is the way they flower. Usually, these cultivars do not bloom in the first season. They spend maximum energy in promoting healthy growth of roots and other adaptive structures. Once these features are developed, they start producing blooms.
✦ As far as perennial plant identification by seed is concerned, not all the species undergo seeding for propagation. Rather they produce structures for vegetative reproduction (such as corms, tubers, rhizomes), which are useful to survive in unfavorable conditions.
✦ The point is, some plants conserve energy to grow and produce flowers for many years. Of course, many perennial plants (especially trees) produce large seeds. Upon germination, they sprout and give rise to large seedlings, that easily outcompete other plants in the same area.
Annuals and perennials have their own advantages. The annual plants undergo seeding stage before completion of their life cycle and produce seeds in large numbers. In contrary to these, perennial plants continue to grow by developing storage parts to survive in extreme environmental conditions, or they give large, viable seeds in every season.