HERBACEOUS PLANTS: Characteristics and Examples

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Herbaceous plants, commonly called herbs, are undoubtedly the most widespread type of plant in the world. This is mainly due to its great capacity for growth and germination, as well as its high adaptability and resistance. If you want to know more about these types of plants, join us throughout this Green Ecologist article, in which we will see what are herbaceous plants, their characteristics and examples of its different types.

What are herbaceous plants and their characteristics

The characteristic that defines a plant as herbaceous is its absence of woody stems, unlike shrubs and trees. They also produce leaves and stems that are green in the vast majority of occasions, and many have terminal and abundant blooms.

These plants are widely used in gardening for the aesthetic value of their flowers, as well as as covering plants to cover from small flower beds to large plantations, although there are a large number of herbaceous plants wild and we can even find edible herbaceous plants. Nor should they forget their medicinal properties, which many of them offer in their essential oils or in the form of an infusion. Also included in this classification are the so-called weeds, which are not bad at all, but they receive this name due to their capacity and tendency to spread easily and, therefore, to be in lands where they are not desired, such as plantations or orchards.

In fact, most of the fruits and vegetables that can be found in our supermarkets and pantries come from herbaceous plants of one of the types that we are going to see next.

Types of herbaceous plants: classification

Despite its great variety, there is a classification that encompasses the herbaceous plant species according to their life cycles in the first four cases and according to their size for megaforbias, the last type in the classification. These are as follows:

  • Annual
  • Biannuals
  • Lively
  • Perennials
  • Megaforbias

Annual herbaceous plants: examples

Annual herbaceous plants, also commonly called seasonal plants, are those that complete their entire life cycle in one year. This means that at this time they germinate, flourish, bear fruit and die, leaving behind the seeds of the next generation. Most of them are summer, growing and blooming in the hottest season of the year, although there are also winter ones, which do so in the cold months.

Some examples of annual herbaceous are:

  • Sunflower
  • Calendula
  • Petunia
  • Poppy
  • Corn

Examples of perennial herbaceous plants

The vivacious herbaceous they seem to dry up and die in the cold season, but their roots survive and when spring comes again they sprout once more, thus being reborn. They have bulbs or rhizomes that they keep underground, and they tend to be very adaptable and hardy. By having this type of life cycle, these plants tend to have long lives. Some of them are:

  • Lupine
  • Loosestrife
  • Peony
  • Astilbe
  • Delfinio
  • Sea lavender
  • Heuchera

Examples of perennial herbaceous plants

Perennials are distinguished from other herbaceous plants by having the ability to stay green throughout the year. They keep their leaves and stem that way regardless of the season, and they also tend to show a remarkably long life expectancy. These are some perennial herbaceous plants:

  • Geranium
  • Carnation
  • Love bow, ribbon or malamadre
  • Sansevieria
  • Gaura

Biennial herbaceous plants

Biennial grasses resemble annuals, but their life cycle lasts two seasons instead of just one year. These plants germinate and grow during their first year of life, but only during the second year do they flower and bear fruit, dying later. In gardening, these plants tend to lose aesthetic value when they reach their second year, since their life cycle begins to come to an end and the plant seems to be impoverished. These are some examples of biennial herbaceous plants:

  • Evening primrose
  • Lunaria annua
  • Marine poppy
  • Wallflower
  • Linen

Herbaceous megaphorbias

Megaforbs are also commonly called giant herbs. These are plants whose characteristics coincide with those of the rest of herbaceous, except in the detail of their size. The megaforbias reach sizes much larger than those of the rest of herbaceous plants, in some cases reaching heights of several meters. The most common examples are bananas and palm trees. Did you think that palm trees were trees? It may seem a bit weird to think about it, but it's about megaphorbic herbaceous plants, that is, herbs. These are the most common megaforbs:

  • Banana trees
  • Palms
  • Bamboos

If you want to read more articles similar to Herbaceous plants: characteristics and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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