What are some examples of perennials

School Biology Center Hannover, Working Aid 5.4 "Perennial List"

Uwe Förster, Edda Bräutigam, March 1993


What are perennials?


The term perennials includes all plants that survive for more than two years and that are herbaceous in character. Since they survive the winter, one also speaks of hardy perennials. In contrast, the annual flowers should be mentioned, whose life cycle is limited to one year. Woods survive the years in above-ground parts such as trunk and branches, perennials, on the other hand, survive underground in root stocks, rhizomes or above ground in winter rosette form.


How do you plant perennials?


When planting perennials, it must first be taken into account that many perennials usually remain in the same place for years. Therefore, careful tillage is necessary according to the requirements of the respective perennials. Important information for soil preparation can be found in the descriptions of the areas of use. Adding rotted manure, compost and organic fertilizer to all bedding or magnificent perennials is always beneficial. This can be a disadvantage with frugal wild perennials.


When do you plant perennials?


The best time to plant perennials is in autumn from the beginning of September to November, and in spring from March to May.

Perennials planted in autumn always have a head start over subsequent spring planting. A thin brushwood blanket is recommended for later planting.


How do you care for perennials?


Since perennials survive the cold season in underground hibernating organs, they must be given enough time to store the necessary reserve materials from the above-ground parts of the plant in their storage organs. Only when the last green parts of the plant have turned brown is it advisable to remove them. In areas at risk of frost, it is even advisable to leave the herbaceous plant remains for the winter, as this guarantees natural frost protection.

In the spring, old parts of the plant should then be cut off with the rose scissors. A fertilizer with a balanced compound fertilizer or deposited compost can now take place. Perennials that have to be divided in rapid growth are now ready for reproduction (grasses). Even herbaceous clusters that are in danger of becoming too old now have to be divided and replanted, as otherwise shedding occurs in the middle of the clumps.

During the summer the plantings are relatively easy to care for, apart from the fact that the wild herbs, which are usually much more competitive, are not allowed to overgrow the perennial bed. It is not advisable to apply heavy fertilizers from July / August, as most of the autumn bloomers have already induced their flowering (initiated the flowering process). If the fertilizer is applied too late, growth will not complete and the plants will freeze to death.

For the overwintering of frost-sensitive species, winter protection is required (brushwood blanket). In Hanover, however, winter wetness is the more common reason for perennials to be overwintered. Tall grasses, which can be protected by tying them together and turning them once, are particularly at risk here.

However, the proper care of a perennial plant begins with the planting. The consideration of the natural occurrence of a perennial and, derived from this, its use in artificially created areas, is the basis for good growth and optimal development. The choice of the right area of ​​use should correspond to the natural areas of life of the perennial.



Recommendations for use for perennials:


With the short formulas corresponding to the first letter of the areas of use and the drawings, you can see at a glance where a particular perennial should primarily be used.

One subdivides here into five areas of life, some of which are still divided into different sub-areas:


l. Area of ​​application "Wood" G

ll. Area of ​​application "Wood - Edge" GR

lll. Usage area "open spaces" Fr / + SH + H

Vl. Area of ​​use "stone systems" St / + M + MK + SF

V. Area of ​​application "Alpinum" A

Vl. Area of ​​use "Bed" B


*) = In some areas of life there are perennials with a bed-perennial-like character, which are usually very effective due to their stately appearance, lush growth and often due to conspicuous flowers, but also a little more demanding. A -b- is added to your area of ​​application identifier.


Area of ​​application "Wood" G

Many "forest perennials" thrive very well in light shade or partial shade, especially under loosely planted trees. They are closely related to the trees and enliven these areas of gardens and grounds with their growth forms and flowers. The rotting leaves of the trees provide the necessary humus-rich, fresh soil and must not be cleared away. Among the perennials of this area of ​​life, on the one hand, species of native forest perennials can be found, which are preferably to be planted in the area of ​​well-growing trees with "ripe" (humus, fresh) soil.

These are contrasted with perennials with a flowering character similar to that of a flower bed, which are usually very effective due to their stately appearance, lush growth and conspicuous flowers, but also more demanding in terms of soil and care.



Area of ​​application "Wood - Edge"

On the edge of groups of trees and bushes, often in good humus soil, numerous perennials find optimal location conditions. It should be noted that some species prefer the open, sunny, warm, south-facing wooded edge, while others thrive better in the cooler, partially shaded, north-facing or alternately shaded wooded edge.

Each with dry soil (GR1), fresh soil (GR2), or damp soil (GR3). Similar conditions, mostly without the effects of roots from trees, can be found in the area of ​​walls and house walls




Area of ​​application "Open spaces" F

Outside of the locations of trees and bushes (on open, sunny "free areas") there are diverse garden situations in which many perennials find the living conditions that are favorable for them.

Depending on your requirements in terms of moisture content and water retention capacity of the soil, a distinction can be made:

Species for warm, full sun locations with well-drained, dry soil, often also on slopes (Fr1),

Types for normal, fresh soil (Fr2) or

Types for moist soil (Fr3);





in addition, perennials for dry, calcareous soil and warm, sunny-sloping surfaces of the "Steppes - Heath" p





or perennials for nutrient-poor, acidic, sandy areas of the "Heather "H.





Area of ​​application "stone systems" St

Many perennials feel good in the area of ​​the stones. Some are sensitive to moisture and therefore grow best in soil interspersed with gravel or boulders, the

"Rock - Steppes" FS




Others thrive even in shallow layers of soil over rocks or larger stones, the

"Matten" (rock mats) M.


Still others are ideal for planting behind the "Wall - Crowns" of dry stone walls MK or in their "Stone Joints" SF.




Area of ​​application "Alpinum" A



Some wonderful, but also demanding, often not very competitive perennials find their best locations in different, mostly small-scale areas in the Alpinum A.

A naturally laid out rock garden in the lowlands, which was planted with alpine plants.


Area of ​​use "Bed" B

For the most common location in the garden - the bed - there are a large number of wonderful perennials with stately habitus and magnificent flowers. You need humus rich, nutrient-rich, fresh soil, the surface of which should be kept open by shallow chopping or occasional digging.

With bed perennials there is Leading perennials with dominant function and Accompanying perennialsthat complement the "garden picture"





Sociability levels for perennials:


(after Hansen / Müssel)


In addition to the area of ​​life, which on the one hand characterizes the natural occurrence of the perennials and on the other hand their use in artificially created areas, the rhythm of life, the development of the perennial over the course of the year, but also their development in old age play a major role.

The factors competition with other plants and the behavior towards the plant partner must also be considered when planting.

According to these specific properties and requirements, plants are planted individually, flatly or in large and small colonies and a certain number of plants is provided for a certain area. The sociability in perennial plantings (sociability) can be expressed in the form of a five-part scale, which also takes into account the different distribution of the species in the natural population.

The following schematic illustration is intended to clarify how plant groups can be assigned to one another as naturally as possible. Here, however, all other considerations that belong to the planning of a perennial planting (view side, height of perennials, exposure of the area, etc.) have not been taken into account.

Then some plant species are listed as examples for the respective groups.

as individually as possible in small groups of about

or group 3 - 10 plants in small tuffs





larger groups of over 10-20 plants



in large colonies, distinctly predominant

plant over a large area



I)= plant individually or in small tuffs if possible

(Actaea, Aquilegia, Aruncus, Avena, Acanthus, Eryngium, Helianthus salicif., Hosta, Thalictrum, Euphorbia myrsin., Ligularia, Papaver orient., Paeonia, Verbascum)


II)= group in small groups of around 3 - 10 plants

(Achillea "Coronation Gold", Aconitum, Anemone Japanese, Armeria, Aster n.a., Aster n.b., Astilbe thunb., Campanula, Coreopsis, Delphinium, Epimedium, Helianthemum, Iris, Rudbeckia, Rodgersia)

III)= larger groups of over 10-20 plants

(Ajuga rept., Anemone sylv., Asarum, Bergenia, Brunnera, Cimicifuga jap.,

Dicentra ex., Doronicum plant., Lavandula ang., Luzula sylvat., Nepeta faassenii, Thymus)


IV)= plant in large colonies, very flat

(Azorella, Cerastium bib., Coreopsis vertic., Cotula, Geranium sang.,

Lysimachia numm., Physalis, Primula jap., Sedum Hyb., Waldsteinia tern.)


V)= mainly plant large areas

(Acaena, Astilbe chin. "Pum.", Convallaria maj., Duchesnea, Geranium endressii, Hypericum calyc., Lamium gal., Pachysandra, Stachys lan., Tiarella, Vinca)





To the perennial list:


The first two columns name that botanical names of the plant, as well as the Plant family, to which the named plant belongs. To complete this, in the 3rd column the German name called because often only the German name is known. It should be noted here that the German name often allows conclusions to be drawn about the location requirements of the plant.

In column 4 are the Areas of use of the named plant. In contrast to the old perennial list, here Not the classification according to the code number keys of the Hansen / Müssel list. The classification according to areas of use seems more helpful to the user in the school garden. The areas of use have already been explained in more detail on the first pages.

The height of the plants is listed in column 5, although this can only be an approximate indication, since the size differs depending on the prevailing conditions. Column 6 also contains only approximate information Flower color and Heyday. The flower color can change with different tanning conditions or different nutrient content, the flowering period can be postponed due to weather-related influences.

Column 7 says something about the Plant spacing of the plants from one another. All information relates to one square meter. This gives you an idea of ​​how close the perennials can be.
The last column 8 is followed by a Roman numeral Social level or social level the respective perennial pointed out.

An evaluation of the plants according to the principles of supraregional perennial sighting with regard to assortment grouping or garden value has not been included in the list.