|Background: | plant terms | flowering plant life cycle | types of photosynthesis | Tucson Mt. plants | plant list | thumbnails by color ||
This page introduces you to the basic steps in the lifecycle of flowering plants.
Germination: sprouting of the seed. Timing is critical. Germinating too early, too late, or in the wrong place spells death. Plants use various germination cues. These include the ratio of daylight to darkness, temperature, moisture (timing and quantity), fire, abrasion, and even animal digestive enzymes. For example, passing through the digestive system of an animal usually indicates that the seed has been dispersed (moved away) from its parent (so won't compete), that the seed might be deposited under a nurse tree if the animal is a bird that defecated while perched, and that there is some fertilizer.
Growth: development from seedling to mature plant.
Reproduction: production of offspring.
Death: if plants die after less than a year, then they are called annuals (or ephemerals). If plants die after two years, then they are called biennials, and if they live for more than two years, then they are called perennials.