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Voting Booth: Botany Quiz: How many times during its life does a biennial plant flower?

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dave

May 7, 2007
5:50 AM

Post #3470980

There are a total of 729 votes:


Once
(353 votes, 48%)
Red dot


Twice
(187 votes, 25%)
Red dot


Many times
(183 votes, 25%)
Red dot


Never
(6 votes, 0%)
Red dot


Previous Polls


And the answer is...

Once!

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2007
6:19 AM

Post #3471010

Methinks this could be interpreted two ways . . . a biennial plant often produces many flowers during one long flowering period. Think of e.g. a Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) producing 100 flowers sequentially over two or three weeks. Has it flowered once, or a hundred times?

Resin
ldy_gardenermd
Highland, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
8:11 AM

Post #3471241

Resin I was thinking that too!
crashbandiscoot
Springfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2007
8:13 AM

Post #3471244

YAY! I finally got one right! See, Daves Garden is making me smarter! Just one more reason to love it here!
Sashagirl
Davenport, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2007
9:10 AM

Post #3471406

LOL!

Guess it might be misconstrued as a trick question, but it's not, really.

I do love the way many biennials produce seed consistantly enough over time, that they start to seem more of a perennial.

I try never to take that fact for granted, tho- or sure enough, nothings there the next year. Sometimes, a little "help" is needed by doing some hand broadcasting of fresh seed every few years, here in my area. :-)

Sasha
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
10:25 AM

Post #3471672

I think they are saying one season, not just 1 bloom and it croaks.

X
collincountytx
Dallas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
10:54 AM

Post #3471809

Difficult question. Dianthus (pinks) are labeled biennial by gardening books. My experience is that dianthus will live 2-3 years blooming repeatedly spring, summer, and fall.
Sofonisba
Beacon, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
10:58 AM

Post #3471833

Yippie! I got it right!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
11:07 AM

Post #3471871

I got it wrong. I thought they only bloomed once every two years. But pre-DG, I would not have even understood the terms in the question!

xxx, Carrie
DonShirer
Westbrook, CT
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2007
11:10 AM

Post #3471882

Biennials take two years to bloom
Then set their seed--a flowery doom.
'Tis worth the wait, these plants imply,
To spread such beauty, 'fore they die!
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
11:12 AM

Post #3471888

A garden poet among us! :-)
Site some more... I love poetry on topics that I am interested in.

Karen
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2007
1:38 PM

Post #3472374

I'm saying many times because all of the supposedly biennial plants that I've ever planted have turned themselves into perennials in my yard. Maybe they'll be short lived ones, but the same plants have definitely bloomed again for a couple years in a row. I know that's not the technically correct answer, but that's been my experience.
Sofonisba
Beacon, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
2:25 PM

Post #3472529

You go Don!! I love your poems.
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2007
3:09 PM

Post #3472657

Isn't the definition of a biennial that it has a 2 year bloom cycle? If it blooms each of 2 years and dies, it would be a short-lived perennial-- just a thought.
langbr
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2007
4:01 PM

Post #3472842

Don you brought a smile to my face! And such a dreary rain-soaked day here. ty
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2007
4:35 PM

Post #3472942

My "barnyard hollyhocks" are biennials. They don't bloom the first year. The same plant doesn't return after blooming during its second season.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
5:04 PM

Post #3473013

Love the poetry too!

I planted french hollyhocks which were supposed to be a biennial. They bloomed both the first year and the 2nd?????

DG is also teaching me spelling too.
Biennial ~ foliage ~ and I am sure there are more I have learned here... LOL
bigcityal
Menasha, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2007
5:32 PM

Post #3473094

Got it right, although I wanted to go with never. I do know that I have had hollyhocks flower from seed their first year and flower from the same plants the next year.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
5:46 PM

Post #3473138

Thank you BC Al ~ it wasn't a figment of my imagination...
bolino
Swanton, OH
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2007
6:11 PM

Post #3473214

I had to look it up!

I was surprised to see hollyhocks on the list. Others on the list in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biennial_plant are parsley, Lunaria, silverbeet, sweet William, colic weed, carrot, pansy, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, parsley, and Swiss chard. "Plant breeders have produced annual cultivars of several biennials that will flower the first year from seed, e.g. foxglove, stock, and hollyhock.'

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 7, 2007
8:04 PM

Post #3473585

Most of these things are probably affected by the climate. A biennial would have to go through a freeze cycle to be true. It would grow from seed, freeze down in the fall & grow again the next summer & produce it's flower & seeds. Most biennials reseed themselves, ie, Hollyhocks.
Bernie
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
8:55 PM

Post #3473776

My black hollyhocks bloomed last year beautifully last year, and they are loaded in buds right now too. So are they biennials, or have they decided to be perennials here?

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sofonisba
Beacon, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2007
9:05 PM

Post #3473815

Wow, they are gorgeous!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 7, 2007
9:13 PM

Post #3473863

Were they planted as seed last year ?
If they were started plants, they do weird things.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
9:18 PM

Post #3473888

Hey BC--I think your black hollyhocks are the same as mine, which are Nigra. I should say "were". They did not come back this year for the first time in four or five years. So...if they are biennials, did they just not reseed themselves? None of my hollyhocks came back this year and they were all started at different times.

This message was edited May 7, 2007 9:21 PM

Thumbnail by 1gardengram
Click the image for an enlarged view.

phicks
Lakeland, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2007
9:50 PM

Post #3474046

Many Vegies are biennials Paul
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 7, 2007
10:59 PM

Post #3474323

I knew this one...why? Because I have those @#%$ biennial yellow primroses taking over my yard. I'm still kicking myself for that one. So much for pretty wildflowers.
Dave47
Southern, CT
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2007
11:24 PM

Post #3474417

QueenB, Do you have primrose or evening primrose? Sounds like evening primrose and that comes as annual, biennial, or perennial. The biennials are tall (4 feet). The perennials are short (6-10 inches).
bigcityal
Menasha, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 8, 2007
7:06 AM

Post #3474974

Gardengram - my black ones took 2 years from seed to flower, the ones that flowered their first year I think were the Chatter's line? My hollyhocks stay green under the snow all winter is how I know they are not new plants that flower.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2007
7:21 AM

Post #3474994

My hollyhocks are Nigra. I got tons of seeds from them last year and left a few to fall on the ground. So I have a new generation beginning. I also had this uncommon black one. Unlike Nigra, it has petaloids in the center which give it almost a double look. It too is now loaded with buds again.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 8, 2007
7:22 AM

Post #3474995

Ah yes... fond memories of zone 5 gardening: my garden was comprised of toxic, invasive and large-to-very-large plants. My favourite biennials were foxglove in the toxic category and dipsacus laciniatus (cut-leaf teasel).

For a while there, I couldn't get the foxglove to reseed itself until someone from the botanical garden mentionned that a bed of gravel at the base of the plants would improve the seeds' chances of germinating and showing up the year after. It worked.

The cut-leaf teasel was a notorious invasive and quite large at 7 feet. It didn't need any help. I have moved but this plants' seeds have taken over many a hedge and badly maintained garden.

In the extremely toxic plant department, I featured heracleum mantegazzianum. Suffice it to say that after planting that, I told the grass contractor not to go into the garden any more.

Oh, how I miss that garden but it's OK because now I'm in zone 10-B and I'm having the time of my life with all those tropicals and exotics.

Sylvain.
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 8, 2007
1:21 PM

Post #3476067

Mine are the ones that grow wild around here and form what looks like a small shrub or tree. They can get quite leggy. It takes them two years to bloom. They make a nice bunch of bushy plants the first year, then lovely bushes with yellow flowers the next, but for the rest of your life you will be digging the seedlings out of your yard.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 8, 2007
2:28 PM

Post #3476228

So, Snapdragons are biennial but they bloom in first and second year???

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 9, 2007
12:32 PM

Post #3479498

Quoting:My black hollyhocks bloomed last year beautifully last year, and they are loaded in buds right now too. So are they biennials, or have they decided to be perennials here?

I'd say that's fairly normal - many (if not most) hollyhocks are better called short-lived perennials, not biennials.

Resin
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 9, 2007
1:21 PM

Post #3479655

Resin, some (perhaps many or even most) hollyhocks are indeed short lived perennials. My barnyard variety, though, are biennials. My first year plants stay green during the winter and then bloom the following season, and then die.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 9, 2007
1:59 PM

Post #3479757

I find that if you deadhead promptly (campanula medium, for example) they will bloom for 2-3 years.
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

May 9, 2007
6:54 PM

Post #3480621

Some things that are biennial (or whatever) in their native climate may behave differently in other climates. Also, what the nursery trade markets as something ("annual", for example) may behave differently in its native climate or outside of what seems to be the gardening standard climates, i.e. zones 4 through 8.
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 10, 2007
11:22 AM

Post #3482854

I guessed that maybe it bloomed every other year for a life time. I didn`t have a clue though. I just wanted to see what it was.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 10, 2007
1:23 PM

Post #3483240

I'm a newbie so I thought it bloomed every 2 years. I didn't realize they died! I was wondering where my foxgloves were this year.
Now I have to plant something in that space.
gessiegail
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2007
3:27 PM

Post #3483580

I said once, but that is a very ambiguous question. If you plant them in the fall you will get flowers by spring (in two seasons)...not two years...also many reseed so can continue to bloom for years...(I think I am right but I'm usually wrong) LOL
gail
quantum
Sound Beach, NY

May 10, 2007
8:44 PM

Post #3484474

True biennials bloom once in their second year. Plant breeders have altered some biennials in many ways. Foxy a variety of foxglove has become anything from an annual to a short lived perennial depending ujpon ones luck.

Dinu

Dinu
Mysore
India
(Zone 10a)

May 11, 2007
1:45 AM

Post #3485397

I guessed 'once' and it was right!
pontadog
Jacksonville, TX

September 26, 2008
5:01 AM

Post #5600827

1 bloom season and it croaks. The bloom season is the second year.


This message was edited Sep 26, 2008 12:04 AM

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