What is a perennial?
The Northwest Perennial Alliance is often asked this question! Our organization was formed in 1984 by a group of passionate gardeners who wanted to promote the use of perennial plants to add to their mixed plantings of trees, shrubs, and annuals. They helped bring perennial plants to the attention of NW gardeners and growers, resulting in the expanded plant selection found today!
The term ‘perennial’ describes plants that live more than two years, excluding trees, shrubs and bulbs. There are three commonly referred to types of perennial plants:
- Herbaceous Perennials grow from their root stock in the spring, then die back to the ground in winter (Hosta)
- Evergreen, or Non-herbaceous Perennials, do not die back in winter (Bergenia)
- Sub-shrubs retain a woody structure in winter and regrow from that structure in spring (Hardy Fuchsia)
Perennial plants are popular with many gardeners due to their hardy nature, natural beauty, and reliable performance.