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Trientalis latifolia (Broadleaf Starflower) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the ground layer of forests in western North America.

Herbaceous plants (in botanical use frequently simply herbs) are plants that have no persistent woody stem above ground.[1] The term is mainly applied to perennials,[2] but in botany it may also refer to annuals or biennials,[3] and include both forbs and graminoids.[citation needed]

Annual herbaceous plants die completely at the end of the growing season or when they have flowered and fruited, and they then grow again from seed.[4]

Herbaceous perennial and biennial plants may have stems that die at the end of the growing season, but parts of the plant survive under or close to the ground from season to season (for biennials, until the next growing season, when they flower and die). New growth develops from living tissues remaining on or under the ground, including roots, a caudex (a thickened portion of the stem at ground level) or various types of underground stems, such as bulbs, corms, stolons, rhizomes and tubers. Examples of herbaceous biennials include carrot, parsnip and common ragwort; herbaceous perennials include potato, peony, hosta, mint, most ferns and most grasses. By contrast, non-herbaceous perennial plants are woody plants which have stems above ground that remain alive during the dormant season and grow shoots the next year from the above-ground parts – these include trees, shrubs and vines.

Some relatively fast-growing herbaceous plants (especially annuals) are pioneers, or early-successional species. Others form the main vegetation of many stable habitats, occurring for example in the ground layer of forests, or in naturally open habitats such as meadow, salt marsh or desert.

Some herbaceous plants can grow rather large, such as the genus Musa, to which the banana belongs.[5]

The age of some herbaceous perennial plants can be determined by herbchronology, the analysis of annual growth rings in the secondary root xylem.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Flora of the British Isles, Clapham, Tutin, and Warburg, 2nd edition
  2. ^ The Royal Horticultural Society encyclopedia of gardening (2nd ed.). Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 9781405303538.
  3. ^ Solomon, E.P.; Berg, L.R.; Martin, D.W. (2004). Biology. Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning. ISBN 978-0-534-49547-3.
  4. ^ Levine, Carol. 1995. A guide to wildflowers in winter: herbaceous plants of northeastern North America. New Haven: Yale University Press. page 1.
  5. ^ Picq, Claudine & INIBAP, eds. (2000). Bananas (PDF) (English ed.). Montpellier: International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantains/International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. ISBN 978-2-910810-37-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.