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Re: terms

In a message dated 1/9/03 7:02:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
gardenqueen@gbronline.com writes:

> >long and several inches thick. Now, safe from being mowed down, it lives
> >on but it only comes up every other year, blooms like mad and seeds
> >itself every where but the next year it is no where to be seen...Is this
> >thing just a freak of nature or do other plants have a growth pattern
> >similar to this?

It may be a species plant.  There are several very good yellows that are not 
hybrids and behave in peculiar ways as they might in the wild.  Seed is 
around for these plants and they are a nice addition to any garden.  There 
are many plants that have the ability to remain dormant until conditions for 
growth suit them.  Poppy seed can remain underground for decades, emerging 
when the soil is disturbed.

The terms are hard for a new gardener if he expects 100 percent exact 
behavior from each plant.  US zone, rainfall, many variables change the 
growth patterns of plants.

Nigella is a true annual.  It dies immediately after seeding.  Nigella will 
drop seeds in my cold garden that germinate in a warm fall.  If under litter 
or mulch or otherwise protected, Nigella will live over and bloom in the 
spring.  The live over plants might then be described as biennial under some 

I think gardeners such as those who participate in lists are becoming more 
knowledgeable.  Hence they encounter terms as perennial tendency, biennial 
tendency, monocarpic, true annual (as opposed to grown as an annual), and 
many others.  Somebody is trying to make things clear with new terms.  
Experience, particularly experience in your own area and your own garden may 
sometimes be opposite what is read but is not unusual.

So if you find a plant growing in some way unlike it's description in a book 
or catalog, someone else has also noticed this variance from the norm and is 
trying to cover all bases.

Claire Peplowski
NYS z4

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