Herbaceous Plants

Last Updated: September 4, 2018

Definition - What does Herbaceous Plants mean?

Herbaceous plants are non-woody plants in which the top growth dies back at the end of the season. They can be annual, perennial, or biannual plants.

MaximumYield explains Herbaceous Plants

While trees, vines, and shrubs are woody plants that retain their top growth throughout the winter, and grow new shoots the following spring, herbaceous plants die back at the end of the season.

With annual herbaceous plants, the entire plant dies back in autumn, while the roots and tubers of perennials, biannuals, and bulb plants stay alive during the winter months. These herbaceous plants are able to live for multiple seasons.

In contrast, woody plants are able to survive above ground the entire year, as they simply enter a dormant stage during the winter months.

Hosta, daylily, and most grasses are some examples of perennial herbaceous plants, while carrots, parsnips, and common ragwort are biannual plants.

There are some species of herbaceous plants that are considered annuals in the colder climates, but grow as perennials in the south. These would include some members of the violet family, such as Johnny Jump Up.

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