Annual or Monocarpic

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Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-17
Annual or Monocarpic

At the moment, our FOGs group at The University of Western Ontario is preparing for its annual Plant Sale in two weeks time. While assigning the various plants their proper designation - annuals, perennials, house plants, etc. - the question came up about whether Campanula incurva is an annual - I would have just called it monocarpic but wonder if that is right or if that covers it. Or maybe it is a biennial? Could it be a monocarpic biennial or is that a "double negative". Anyway, can someone who knows for sure set us straight about this? Thanks very much. Fran

Frances HoweyLondon, Ontario, CanadaZone 5b

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

It is monocarpic in the sense that the plant dies after flowering, but it seems to me to be most accurately described as a biennial.  (That's how it acts for me, anyway.  The plants bloom in their second year, then die.)

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Peter George
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-09-03

It's an absolutely stunning plant, which I've raised from seed 3 times. Twice it bloomed and died in the 2nd year, and once it came back for a 3rd year, bloomed and was dead within 2 weeks. So it is almost always monocarpic, but apparently if it REALLY likes its location and the other conditions are perfect, it may come back for one encore. A plant well worth growing. I've never really collected Campanula seed in the past, but if I get it again, I'll make sure to raise a dozen or more seedlings and keep the plant around permanently.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I would say it is biennial as Lori suggests. A biennial is monocarpic as well even if some plants can live a little longer. Monocarpic is used when a plant live for several years (more than two) then flowers and die. Sometimes you can postpone the death by deheading it.

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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