A herb or the herbaceous plants are different from the garden variety woody plants. The differences begin from their stems, herbal plants have a stem and many leaves but the woody plants have a woody stem which the herbal plants lack.
The differences do not end there; most woody plants grow all their lives while the herbal plants are perennial beings that die off during winters as they cannot live in such a harsh climate.
Herbal plants have stems made up of cellulose, but not as rigid as lignin. Hence, they decompose relatively easily while the woody plants boast of stems made up of lignin which provides a solid, rigid structure that prevents damage. Essentially woody plants are more resilient than herbal plants.
Classification of Herbaceous Plants
Herbaceous plants fall into three main categories which are annual, biennial or perennial. They are classified based on the period at which the plant is alive.
An annual herb is a herbaceous plant that has a whole life cycle in one growing season. This means that the plant germinates from a seed, grows to maturity, flowers develops seeds and dies within a year. Annual herbaceous plants have to be seeded every year. Two groups of annuals are found which are summer and winter. Summer annuals grow during the warmer periods of the year. While winter annuals germinate in the cold seasons and survive through the winter. These plants rely on winter moisture to grow hardy in the spring.
Herbs are readily grown in the gardens or even indoors and this is a common enough practice. They have a lot of nutritional and health benefits. Some of the medicinal plants include immune support herbs, intestinal support herbs, muscle and joint support herbs, cardiovascular support herbs, energy support herbs, and so on. Hence, they play a huge role in our holistic wellbeing, as they contain enough nutritional benefits and vitamins to make it a part of the diet.
To explore more about herbs and different types of plants, visit Byju’s.