n. a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests [syn: herb]
Herbaceous plants (in botanical use frequently simply herbs) are plants that have no persistent woody stem above ground. Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials.
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.
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 Musa genus, to which the banana belongs.
The age of some herbaceous perennial plants can be determined by analyzing annual growth rings in the secondary root xylem, a method called herbchronology.
Usage examples of "herbaceous plant".
A perennial rhizomatous or bulbous herbaceous plant of the family Iridaceae, is it not?
Neb prepared some agouti soup, a smoked capybara ham, to which was added the boiled tubercules of the caladium macrorhizum, an herbaceous plant of the arum family.
It is a tall, herbaceous plant, with feathery racemes of white blossoms, 1 to 3 feet long, which being slender, droop gracefully.
It is a herbaceous plant, with a knotted stem a foot or two in height, round and hollow, generally green, but sometimes tinged with red, lateral branches growing out of the joints, which give off alternately from opposite sides, heart-shaped, or somewhat arrowshaped leaves, and from July to September, spreading panicles of numerous light freshcoloured flowers, which are perfumed.
The Dwarf Elder differs from the Common Elder in being a herbaceous plant seldom exceeding 3 feet in height and dying back to the ground every year, spreading by underground shoots from the creeping root.
They procure it from an herbaceous plant, which is taken up by the roots and put into tubs of water, where it is suffered to remain till it rots.