Is there a technical term for when a plant isn't a seedling, but isn't producing flowers, reproducing, or going dormant? If there are synonyms for that term, I'd love to know them as well.

As an example, say we have a plant that flowers late summer. But I'm interested in its appearance and habit from spring until it flowers, what do I search for? A common problem I find, is that most photos of plants are taken when they're fully in bloom. Look at an image search for Prunus tenella, as an example.

  • I usually add "trunk", "branch" or "leaves" on google image search. Wikipedia is also a good starting point (ev. interlink with Wiki-Common, where the image(draws) from old books are usually good for identification) Jan 24, 2018 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


It is the vegetative state.

I know two identification flora about vegetative state:

  • Flora Vegetativa: in French or German, of Swiss wild plants
  • The vegetative key to the British flora

Perennation? the survival of an individual over successive years, or of a dormant organ during unfavourable seasons. There's also dormancy, hibernation and senescence/senescent too however they over lap with descriptions. And I wouldn't use them describing a plant in this way. Although they are valid. As VivdD has said, there are examples of specific plants that do just that, and just stop growing- however I did say I wouldn't use them describing a plant in that way! I seem to remember several types of desert plant that do just that and seem to die, and then spring back to life when conditions allow- their not dead nor alive- the problem is the explanations in main text are not exacting enough because there are many exemptions in the plant world. Its a very complicated subject and your always going to be caught out one minute and not the next.

  • "Dormancy" is completely wrong - the OP explicitely said "...when they are not going dormant...". The same for hibernation.
    – VividD
    Jan 27, 2018 at 14:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.