In our efforts to help people understand more about the plants they use in their landscapes, we have attempted to assign various labels or buttons to plants listed on our pages. We have used a variety of sources for this information including catalogs, books, internet sources and others.

 = Annual - A botanical annual is a plant that goes from seed to seed in one season and then dies. Many plants sold as "annuals" or bedding plants from nurseries, garden centers and greenhouses do not meet this definition.

See Tender Perennials.

 = Biennial - A botanical biennial is a plant that goes from seed to seed in two season and then dies. The first season, it develops a low group of leaves called a rosette. It survives the winter and then blooms the second season, sets seeds and dies.

Common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) are biennials grown in the landscape.

 = Bulb i.e. an underground storage structure consisting of stem or bud tissue covered by papery, scale leaves. Examples of true bulbs include tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus), onions (Alliums) and lilies (Lilium).

The term "bulb" is also used by the general gardening public to identify other storage structures such as corms (gladiolus, windflowers), rhizomes (iris), tuberous roots (dahlias) or tubers (potatoes).

= Butterfly - Plants that produce nectar that is attractive to butterflies or plants that act as a food supply for the larvae of butterflies.

= Corm - An organ of vegetative reproduction which consists of a short, modified, underground stem surrounded by stored carbohydrates that will release energy for the emerging shoot and leaves. Examples include plants such as the crocus and gladiolus.

= Cut Flowers - Plants that are commonly used as cut flowers.

= Deer Proof - Some plants contain chemicals that make them poisonous or give them a bad odor or taste that deer will avoid at all times. An example would be Narcissus (includes daffodils) which will not be bothered by deer or other animals.

This can be a relative term since some plants will also be avoided by deer because they are lower on their "preference" list. However, if the food supply is deficient or the herd gets larger, deer will eat these plants.

See Deer Resistant.

 = Deer Resistant - These are plants that for some reason seem to be less attractive as deer food. This does not mean they are never eaten but they tend to sustain only minor damage unless there is a large, very hungry deer population that routinely wanders through your landscape. If the winter is unusually severe with a lot of snow cover, this may also result in deer browsing on these plants.

- Certain plants are high on the list of favorites for browsing deer such as hostas, flower buds, etc.. These plants are deer magnets.

= Drought Tolerant - These are plants that require less watering than most other ornamental landscape plants. Many of these types of plants come originally from areas near a desert or in zones that routinely receive small amounts of rainfall.

= Full Sun - Plants that need a MINIMUM 6 hours of continuous sunlight through the day to thrive. These are often plants that come from open spaces where they receive sunlight from sun up in the morning until sun down in the evening. They would prefer sunlight all day long but will do o.k. on as little as 6 hours as a minimum.

If these plants do not receive the amount of light they need, they will become "leggy" and flop over. They may also produce far fewer flowers than in more ideal conditions of light.

 = Hardy Perennial - This generally refers to an herbaceous perennial i.e. a plant that lives more than two years which is able to survive in temperate zones of the world. They have developed mechanisms that allow them to go dormant to survive sub-freezing temperatures.

See Tender Perennials.

 = Hardy Vine - These are vining or climbing plants that will survive in the temperate zones of the world. This means that they will live in areas that routinely drop below freezing in the winter. Clematis, Wisteria, Trumpetvine, English Ivy, Boston Ivy, Poison Ivy and Grapes are examples.

See Tender Vines.

= Hummingbirds - Plants often with red, tubular flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds.

 = Native to North America and could have a place in a home landscape. Although there are differing definitions of what constitutes a native plant, we will use the term to include plants that were here before Europeans landed.

 = Ornamental Grass - This is to differentiate these types of grasses from those used as turfgrass such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue. This term includes primarily those genera in the Family.

= Shade Tolerant Plants - Full sun plants require a MINIMUM of 6 hours of sunlight to do their job. Plants that can grow and flower on fewer than 6 hours are called shade tolerant plants.

These are NOT "shade loving" which would imply that they thrive in the dark. All landscape plants must have a certain minimum amount of light in order to complete photosynthesis, the process that produces their own food.

 = Shrub - Woody plants that who have multiple stems that emerge from the root system or those trained to a single stem that generally do not exceed 10 feet in height at maturity.

 = Tree - Woody plants that are trained or naturally assume a single trunk and also generally reach a height of 10 feet or more at maturity.

 = Tender Perennials - Herbaceous perennials are plants that live more than two years and do not form woody stems. Tender perennials are those that originate from tropical or subtropical regions of the world and are not exposed to sub-freezing temperatures. If grown in the temperate zones that do freeze, they will not survive. Occasionally, these plants will also be referred to as "Half-Hearty Perennials".

Many plants sold as "annuals" such as geraniums (Pelargoniums) fall into this category. They survive as perennials in temperate zones only if they are potted in the fall before the first frost and taken into the house or greenhouse.

 See Hardy Perennials.

 = Tender Vines - Vining or climbing plants that are not hardy in the temperate zones of the United States are designated by this button. Generally, these are plants that originate in the tropical or subtropical areas of the earth and will not tolerate freezing temperatures. Many of the plants grown as bedding plants or "annuals" are actually tender perennials.

See Hardy Vines.

- Certain plants such as roses, linden trees (Tilia species) and others seem to be extremely attractive to Japanese beetles.

- Although all of our garden plants were originally "wildflowers", there are some that have only recently been brought into commercial production and which we still describe with this term.

- There is often debate over what constitutes a "native" plant but there are certain plants that are known to have been introduced into North America from other parts of the world but which have become well established in the wild.


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