What does Herbaceous mean?

Herbaceous plants are those that have soft stems that protrude from the ground, as contrasted with woody stems. Herbaceous plants can be perennials, biennials, or annuals. In biennial and herbaceous plants, the stems usually die after the growing season. Certain parts of these plants, however, tend to survive under the ground, erupting again during the next growing season.

More on Herbaceous

The most common examples of herbaceous perennial plants include, but are not limited to, most types of grasses and ferns, mint, hosta, potato, and peony. Examples of herbaceous biennials include ragwort, parsnip, and carrot.

Herbaceous plants are often characterized by green, succulent, and soft stems, unlike the woody, tough, and brown stems that normally define non-herbaceous plants.

Because they possess parts that survive below the ground, herbaceous plants can survive the winter, in spite of their fragile stems. The parts below ground are where most of the nutrients are stored during colder seasons. Herbaceous plants are also popular choices for winter landscapes.

The term herbaceous really applies mostly to herbs – plants that grow but lack a woody, aboveground stem. Note that grasses and similar plants do not fall into this category, although herbaceous plants may be annuals, perennials or biennials. In all cases, the stem will only last through a single growing season (the plant’s growing season, which may be a year, two years, or more).

Cannabis (both indica and sativa) is an herbaceous flowering plant itself. While all other plants in the same family are perennials, including hops, cannabis is actually an annual. This means that plants usually have a lifespan of between five and 10 months.

It is suspected that cannabis was originally a perennial (albeit short lived), but environmental changes, and human interference changed it into an annual.

The herbaceous nature of cannabis plants is beneficial in a number of ways. For instance, the lack of a woody stem means that the plant can be more easily trained to grow in directions other than vertical, which can have a profound effect on the harvest.

Cannabis Encyclopedia

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