annual

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an·nu·al / ˈanyoōəl/ • adj. occurring once every year: the union's annual conference. ∎  calculated over or covering a period of a year: annual accounts. ∎  (of a plant) living for a year or less, perpetuating itself by seed: annual flowers. • n. a book or magazine that is published once a year under the same title but with different contents. ∎  an annual plant. DERIVATIVES: an·nu·al·ly adv.

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annual, plant that germinates from seed, blossoms, produces seed, and dies within one year. Annuals propagate themselves by seed only, unlike many biennials and perennials. They are thus especially suited to environments that have a short growing season. Cultivated annuals are usually considered to be of three general types: tender, half-hardy, and hardy. Tender and half-hardy annuals do not mature and blossom in one ordinary temperate growing season unless they are started early under glass and are set outdoors as young plants. Hardy annuals are usually sown where they are expected to bloom. Quite often they reseed themselves year after year. Blooming is prolonged by cutting the flowers before the seeds can form. Typical annual flowers are cosmos, larkspur, petunia, and zinnia; annual vegetables include corn, tomatoes, and wheat.

See H. G. W. Fogg, Dictionary of Annual Plants (new ed. 1972).

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annual Applied to a plant that completes its life cycle (from germination to flowering to seed production and the death of vegetative parts) within a single growing season. See also therophyte. Compare biennial; ephemeral; and perennial.

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annual Applied to a plant that completes its life cycle (from germination to flowering to seed production and the death of vegetative parts) within a single growing season. Compare BIENNIAL; EPHEMERAL; and PERENNIAL; see also THEROPHYTE.

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annual Plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season, such as the sweet pea, sunflower, and wheat. Annual plants overwinter as seeds. See also biennial; perennial

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annual A plant that completes its life cycle in one year, during which time it germinates, flowers, produces seeds, and dies. Examples are the sunflower and marigold. Compare biennial; ephemeral; perennial.

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annual XIV. ME. annuel — (O)F. — late L. annuālis, for L. annuus and annālis, f. annus year; see -AL1.