Groups of ornamental plants

Groups of ornamental plants

In this short article i will talk about different types of ornamental plants. There are many classifications of ornamental plants. I use classifications that i studied at the institute. It is simple and convenient.

All ornamental plants are divided into four groups:


Tree is a perennial plant with one  pronounced lignified trunk

Tree is a perennial plant with one pronounced lignified trunk. There are trees with 2, 3 and even 4 expressed trunks, but this is abnormal way of tree development. Trees are divided into coniferous and deciduous. Deciduous tree, in turn, are divided into evergreen and trees that shed their leaves in autumn.

Most popular coniferous ornamental trees: pines, firs, juniper, spruce, thujas (“trees of life”). yews, larches, sequoias.

Popular deciduous trees are very numerous. There are many regions with different climates in USA; so each region have its own set of popular ornamental trees.


Shrub  is a perennial woody plant with multiple lignified stem

Shrub is a perennial woody plant with multiple lignified stems that has no main stem or trunk. Usually shrubs have shorter height than trees.

Like a trees, shrubs are divided into coniferous and deciduous, and deciduous shrubs are divided into evergreen and shrubs shed their leaves in fall.

Every regions have own popular shrubs. Personally i am appreciate meadowsweets, mock-oranges, wild roses, forsythias, syringas, hydrangeas, buddlejas and many not so popular like a golden currant

Subshrubs or Dwarf shrubs

Subshrub is an small woody plant.

Subshrub is an small woody plant. It has stems with a woody lowers part. Lower part of stems is preserved in higher but higher green parts usually dies in autumn.

Herbaceous plants

Herbaceous plant

Herbaceous plant has no persistent woody stems. Usually herbs are not very high because long green stem breaks down by its own weight. This plant are divided into:

  • annuals;
  • biennials;
  • perennials.

Annual plants have very short life period, usually they live several months or even weeks, produce seeds and then dies. Most popular annuals in USA are marigolds, vincas, zinnias, nasturtiums, celosias, snapdragons, african daisy, alyssums, some annual dianthus and pansies.

Biennial plants live two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. In the first season, plant develops it vegetative structures and stores resources for flowering. In the second year of their life biennial plant flowers, produces seeds and then die. For example 2-years life cycle have campanulas, myosotis (forget-me-nots or scorpion grasses) and others.

Perennial plants live more than to years – some 3…4, but some may live 50…60 years on one place. I know very old peonies which were planted near end Second World war and which are still alive. I am appreciate clematis and peonies, but there are many others wonderful ornamental herbaceous perennials which can beautify your garden.

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