Perennial Plants: Roots of Immortality

Perennial Bulbs A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals (one year) and biennials (two years). The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.

Perennials — especially small flowering plants — that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their root stock, are known as herbaceous perennials.

A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years.

Annual Plants

Annual plants show a rapid growth of flowers, and then seeds, is the strategy most annuals use to propagate from one generation to the next and one growing season to the next. Annuals experience "rapid growth following germination and rapid transition to flower and seed formation, thus preventing the loss of energy needed to create permanent structures

They germinate quickly after the winter so that they come out before other plants, thus eliminating the need to compete for food and light," according to the statement. The trick is basically to make as many seeds as possible in as short a time as possible.

An annual uses up all of its non-specialized cells making flowers, and thus, after dropping seeds, it dies. The growth of the flowers is triggered by the plant sensing the length of day and amount of sunlight. When the light is just right, "blooming-induction genes" are triggered.

Perennial Plants

Planting Perennial Bulbs Perennials instead build "structures" such as overwintering buds, bulbs or tubers, that contain cells that are not yet specialized and, when the next growing season begins, can be converted into stalks and leaves .

The condition for a long life in a perennial plant is to protect the roots (or at least, the capability to regenerate roots quickly. Roots are essential for nutrient and water uptake, hormone production, shoot growth and reproduction, and many other functions. Most importantly, they bear the central core of the plant and the basis for plant growth and development from germination to senescence: the root meristems. In a simplistic (reduced) view of the biology of a plant, the root and shoot apical meristems, together with the vascular tissues, form the essential core of life.

A perennial plant cannot be considered dead until all of its above ground or underground meristems have died. For instance, a tree will still be alive if just one of the apical shoot meristems and one of the root meristems are alive and if they are connected by a functional vascular system. Therefore, during plant development, all tissues will play an altruistic role to serve the meristems (the kings in the chess metaphor), which in turn, will form as many chess boards (growth modules) as possible, with their own respective kings (meristems) and functional pieces (vascular tissues, leaves, flowers, etc.).

Further Information:

 Wisconsin Bee Identification Guide
 Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin
 Bumble Bees of Wisconsin
 Wild Native Bee Nest Boxes

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