In a message dated 1/9/03 7:02:36 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> >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.
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