What On Earth Do These Things Mean?

There comes a time where at least 3 out of 4 people (totally made up statistic) that is in a plant conversation that smiles and nods their head like they totally know what "acaulescent" means (p.s. it is a plant without a trunk). Fake it till you make it, right?


Well, I am here to help you. To help you continue the conversation with Jim about which plants are sporogenous (pore producing plants). To help you when you have a brain fart because you get annual and perennial mixed around (totally guilty here). To help you feel smart.


I don't want to overwhelm you or confuse you so I think I'll just start with some basic botanical terms. Ready? Let's go!


Annual: A plant that has one life cycle. I like to think this: annual means one year, right? So,

by rights, the plant will only survive one year/season/life cycle

Eg. petunia, pansy, marigolds


Perennial: A plant that has several life cycles/lives through seasons. The opposite of annual.

Eg. hosta, hibiscus, heuchera, salvia, lavender



Deciduous: A plant that sheds its foliage/flowers throughout autumn and winter (mainly)

but will reflower in the spring and into summer. I don't really have an easy

way to remember this because you'd generally know from the tag or knowledge

Eg. oak, magnolia, jacaranda, caesalpinea


Evergreen: A plant that retains its foliage and flowers year-round. Ever= Always. Green=

green (duh). Evergreen=Always green. I wish all plants were evergreen

Eg. gardenia, juniper, camellia, nandina



Epiphytic: A plant/organism that grows on surfaces of other plants. I remembe this

because it's a super cool word for a super cool thing! The epiphytic plants

get their nutrients from the air, rain, and the plants surrounding it. The most

recognisable one would be a pothos climbing a tree

Eg. moss, orchids, bromeliad, ferns



Rhizome: A root-like stem that grows horizontally underground and produces new leaves

and shoots. Is it a ginger-looking, weird thing that has roots? Yes? It's a rhizome

Eg. ginger, hops, asparagus, cannas


Native: A plant that is historically found in its current area. I mean, this one is pretty easy. Do we all know the definition of native? If there are lots of them together, safe to say

Eg. grevillia, callistemon, syzygium, backhousia, banksia



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