Looking for a Term

Is there a specific word to describe plants that die back for the winter? Some examples would be Bleeding Heart, Hostas, Astilbe, etc.
Cheers,
Suzan
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Suzan wrote:

If you mean the kind that come back in the spring.....perennial is what they are.
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Deciduous is the term she seeks.
Deciduous perennials, trees and bulbs all come back with new growth in the spring (or whenever the growing season may be for the particular plant).
Mediterranean winter growing plants produce new growth with the winter rainy season and are dormant during the dry summer. Many winter growing plants are leafless in the summer.

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sometimes herbaceous perennial is the term used for this type of plant - as opposed to "woody" perennial, or sub-shrub

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Herbaceous. "Deciduous" refers to woody plants where the leaves drop off but they grow from the stem next year. "Perennial" means living for more than two years, which is misleading - it would be better if it mean plants that lived for an indefinite number of years.
Regards, Nick Maclaren.
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They are herbaceous perennials.
After flowering in early summer, Bleeding Heart dies down, leaving a gap in the garden. The others usually die back with the frosts of fall.
herbaceous (adj): characteristic of a nonwoody herb or plant part
perennial (n): a plant lasting three seasons or more
other related terms are:
biennial(n): a plant having a life cycle that normally takes two seasons from germination to death to complete; flowering biennials usually bloom and fruit in the second season; "parsnips and carrots are biennial plants often grown as annuals".
deciduous (adj): (of plants and shrubs) shedding foliage at the end of the growing season (applied to woody plants which have stems to which the foliage is attached and that is kept and grows each year and sprouts new foliage)
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AND they are bodacious perennials
-paghat the ratgirl

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wrote:

That's not true of all varieties of bleeding heart, at least not in my zone 6 garden. My dicentra 'Luxuriant doesn't go dormant in the heat as long as it remains moist and is in a shady spot.
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Our native western bleeding heart blooms all summer long & even self-seeds in somewhat sunny locations & can get a bit aggressive in its spread.
-paggers
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Then of course there is 'annual' which is that it dies completely at the end of the year or growing season.
Austin is interesting. I had a Japanese Red Maple; very pretty tree in a very large pot. It sprouted new leaves in the Spring and grew from March until May, went dormant for the blistering summer. Then, come August, it would sprout all new beautiful red leaves and grow until November. Then go back to sleep.
It is a tree so is herbaceous by definition. Perennial...comes back at least once each year. Deciduous....drops its leaves. But what is it really?
Even the St. Augustine does it, but it was REALLY obvious with all those red leaves right outside the back door. (Oh, how the migrating humming birds loved it! One female spent a week sitting in the limbs and running off all the other hummingbirds...)
Once you get past that green line between Dallas and Austin, you really need a new term!
Bi-deciduous? Multi-perennial? Biciduous?
Definition: lives more than three seasons and has two dormant seasons per annum.
:>)
John
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NOT

Correction added :-)
Also, things like angelica are usually classed as perennials, because they often take 3 years to reach the flowering stage (when they die). I find that misleading, but it is unclear how to distinguish that from other perennials that may take 50 years to flower and die (like some bamboos). The technical term for such plants is monocarpic.
I don't know of any terms for plants that estivate rather than hibernate (and both of those terms are rarely used for plants), but deciduous plants and facultative evergreen ones can be very variable on what triggers them to drop leaves. Any or all of the following can do it:
Cold, as in frost or just continual lowish temperatures Low light levels or short days Heat, especially coupled with low humidity Drought or other physiological stress (including waterlogging!) Severe aphid, mite and other infestation General leaf rot, due to cold and wet (common in the UK)
This is why many plants will go dormant in summer or winter in one place but not in another, or do it one year and not another.
Regards, Nick Maclaren.
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The tree is not herbaceous, it is woody.
This behavior is not too unusual. On the west coast, many trees grow only in the spring and fall. If you look at stumps, you see two growth rings per year, one in spring and one in fall. This is caused because the summer is very dry and the winter is very cold. Some trees loose their leaves in some unusually dry summers and some don't. In any case the correct term for them is:
tree or shrub
In some cases they are diciduous like oak and larch and in other cases they are evergreen like rhododendron and fir.
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That isn't Dicentra spectabilis, which is the traditional 'Bleeding Heart'. It does die down to the ground in summer. Dicentra formosa and the variants continue on throughout the summer if they like the conditions. Mine spreads like a weed, but a nice, controllable weed <G>.
Ann
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