The Q&A Archives: What Does 'herbaceous' Mean?

Question: I'm trying to figure out if herbaceous means deciduous or medicinal. Can you help me once again? Thank you.

Answer: Happy to help! The term herbaceous means that the tops of the plant will die down during the winter months but the roots will remain alive and resprout stems and foliage the following spring. Herbaceous plants are also called tender perennials.

Herbs (medicinal and culinary) can be annuals (complete their lifecycle in one growing season), or herbaceous perennials (see above definition), or woody perennials (woody meaning the stems are persistent throughout the winter months). Woody perennials can be deciduous (lose their leaves in the fall), or evergreen (retain their leaves all year around).

Hope this helps clarify things for you!

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