Annual – a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by fall of the same year. Winter annuals germinate during the fall and mature during the spring or summer of the following calendar year.

Biennial – a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots (vegetative structures), then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming a rosette. Many biennials require a cold treatment, or vernalization, before they will flower.

Chill Unit – a term used in to determine bud break in fruit trees. A chill unit is the number of hours at a particular temperature. They accumulate between 32° and 60°F. Maximum accumulation (1 chill unit/hr) occurs at 43°F. Partial accumulation occurs at temperatures around 43°F, and no units accrue below freezing. For example, Red Delicious apples chilling requirement is 1,234 chill units.

tertiary-color-wheel Color Wheel – a design element used in gardening, flower arrangements, interior design and art. The pure colors of a prism are arranged in a wheel. Opposite colors on the wheel are complimentary; Red & Green, Blue & Orange, Violet & Yellow.

Colorado Front Range – there are a lot of different interpretations of the Colorado Front Range. I use the term as it applies to horticulture referring to the region from Colorado Springs to the Wyoming border and from the foothills to the eastern plains.

Cruciferous – plants in the family Brassicaceae that include broccoli, mustard, kale, brussel sprouts and cabbage.

Deadheading – removing flowers after they have lost petals or attractiveness and before setting seed. The purpose of deadheading is to produce more flowers.

Glaucous – Having a bloom or whitish covering on any part of a plant that can easily be rubbed off. When on leaves or stems in low humidity or low precipitation, it allows to plant to reduce loss of water from transpiration.

Herbaceous – A plant that has stems and leaves that die down to the ground after the growing season without leaving woody stems. It can be an annual, biennial or perennial.

Noxious Weed – An alien (non-native) plant that has been determined to be ecologically and/or economically undesirable by the State of Colorado.

Panicle – A repeatedly branched flower cluster (inflorescence) with flowers on short stalks

Perennial – A plant that lives for more than two years.

Transpiration – Process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from leaves, stems and flowers.

Spur – in fruit trees, The short, stubby growth on which the fruit is borne.

Stolon – a creeping horizontal plant stem or runner that takes root at points along its length to form new plants.

Symbiotic Relationship – in plants this occurs when both receive something positive from the relationship. An example is plants in the pea family fix nitrogen from the air with the help of rhizobia, a bacterium. The rhizobia receive nutrients and hemoglobin from the pea while the pea receives nitrogen from the process.

Stratification – Many plants that are native to temperate regions of the world have seeds that require a moist, cold period before they sprout. You can grow these seeds by sowing them in pots and setting the pots outdoors in late fall or winter. This treatment replicates the natural conditioning the seeds would undergo in their native habitat, breaking down the internal mechanisms that inhibit their ability to germinate. The seeds will germinate when temperatures rise in the spring.

Vernalization – (from Latin vernus, “of the spring”) is the acquisition of a plant’s ability to flower in the spring by exposure to the prolonged cold of winter, or by an artificial equivalent. After vernalization, plants have acquired the ability to flower, but they may require additional seasonal cues or weeks of growth before they will actually flower.