The main difference between annual and perennial plants is that the annual plants live for one growing season whereas perennial plants live for two or more growing seasons.
Annual or perennial plants are two types of plants with variable lifespans. Annual plants complete their life cycle from seed to flower to seed within a single growing season. Hence, the seed bridges the gap between two generations. The top portions of some perennial plants die in the winter and regrow in the spring, using the same root system. Other perennial plants keep their leaves throughout the year.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Annual Plants
– Definition, Fats, Examples
2. What are Perennial Plants
– Definition, Facts, Examples
3. What are the Similarities Between Annual and Perennial Plants
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Plants
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Annual plants, Blooming, Growth Season, Perennial Plants, Seeds
What are Annual Plants
Annual plants refer to plants that complete their life cycle from germination to the production of a seed within one year and then die. The main purpose of an annual plant is to produce seeds, ensuring the propagation of the future generations. Therefore, most annual plants produce colorful and showy flowers to attract insects for pollination. Corn, wheat, rice, beans, peas, lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, etc. are some examples of annual plants. Zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, petunias, marigolds, and bachelor’s button are some annual plants used in horticulture.
What are Perennial Plants
Perennial plants refer to plants that live more than two years. Generally, trees and shrubs are perennial, and they retain their foliage throughout the year. However, herbaceous perennials include flowering plants whose top portion die during fall. But, the dormant root structures remain as they are. When spring comes, leaves and stalks grow, initiating a new growth cycle. Apple, banana, grape, strawberry, plump, and pineapple are perennial fruits. Lavender, mint, rosemary, garlic, and ginger are perennial herbs. Coneflowers, dahlia, Veronica, blanket flowers, and clematis are perennial flowering plants.
Similarities Between Annual and Perennial Plants
- Both annual and perennial plants can be flowering plants.
- Both may produce seeds.
Difference Between Annual and Perennial Plants
Annual Plants: Plants with a life cycle that lasts only one year
Perennial Plants: Plants that live more than two years
Annual Plants: Live for one growing season
Perennial Plants: Regrow every spring
Annual Plants: The whole plant dies annually
Perennial Plants: Only the top portion dies annually
Annual Plants: Rapid growth, rapid transition to flower, and rapid formation of seeds
Perennial Plants: Can survive in harsh conditions
Annual Plants: Mostly seeds
Perennial Plants: Seeds and bulbils
Annual Plants: Bloom all season long
Perennial Plants: Bloom from the spring or summer of the second year
Annual Plants: Bright and showy flowers
Perennial Plants: Less showy flowers
Annual plants complete their life cycle within a single growing season. But, perennial plants live for two or more growing seasons. On that account, annual plants spend their energy mainly for reproduction. However, perennial plants build structures such as bulbils. The main difference between annual and perennial plants is the time taken to complete their life cycle.