Garden Vocabulary LogoIn most gardens, annual plants are used to dress up flower beds and containers during the height of the growing season. Those gardeners in temperate zones tend to rely on annuals as they are designed to grow, flower and die within on growing season and therefore don’t require any special care or protection in order to overwinter. For myself, I don’t like the extra work required by annuals and prefer to plant perennial plants and shrubs whenever I can. Of course, here in Southern California, I would like to plant more native plants, many of which are annuals. These are often self-seeding, though, and that makes them almost a perennial if the conditions are right.

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Garden Vocabulary: Annual

In gardening, an annual plant is a plant surviving just for one growing season. Many food plants are, or are grown as, annuals, including virtually all domesticated grains. Some perennials and biennials are grown in gardens as annuals for convenience, particularly if they are not considered cold hardy for the local climate. Carrot,celery and parsley are true biennials that are usually grown as annual crops for their edible roots, petioles and leaves, respectively. Tomatosweet potato and bell pepper are tender perennials usually grown as annuals.

Ornamental perennials commonly grown as annuals are impatienswax begoniasnapdragonPelargonium,coleus and petunia.” — Wikipedia

Sunflower is just one example of an annual plant
More information on Sepal:
Book on annual plants from
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This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if  there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!