Definition of Perennial: There are two ways to define the term perennial plant, a botanist's definition of perennial and a gardener's definition. A botanist defines a perennial as a plant whose life cycle is more than two years. Botanists classify plants as either annual, biennial, or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycle in a single year and then die of old age. Biennials take two years to complete their life cycle. Perennial flowers take more than two years to complete their life cycle.
For a gardener, the perennial vs. annual question also takes into account the weather tolerance of a plant and for gardeners, the definition of perennial is, a plant that survives the winter in my garden and comes back every year. For a perennial garden in Minnesota, a calla lily is an annual because it cannot tolerate the cold Minnesota winters, but in southern Florida, a calla lily is a perennial flower because it will live for many years.
Perennial flowering plants can be further divided into woody perennials like a tree or shrub and herbaceous perennials (not-woody) like peony or trillium. Plant Delights Nursery specializes in herbaceous perennials but we sell a few woody perennials too. We focus on perennial flowers that are winter hardy in the southern US (zone 6 and warmer) but we grow many perennial flowering plants that are cold tolerant in zone 3, zone 4, or zone 5. Below is our complete perennial flowers list...A to Z. If you want to see all of the flowering perennials that we have sold in the past, please check out our Perennial Encyclopedia.