When choosing a new landscape project that includes plant material, there are many common terms that sound similar but have different meanings. Here is a list of the most common words you'll likely hear while planning your project.
Genus: A group of plants marked by common characteristics or one common characteristic.
Species: A sub-group of plants with common characteristics, within and below a genus.
Cultivar: A plant ranking below a species; a way to distinguish each individual plant within a variety genus and species group.
Deciduous: Plants that lose their leaves in the fall/winter.
Evergreen: Plants that remain green year-round. (Ex. Pine, Spruce, Arborvitae)
Broadleaf Evergreen: Plants that have a deciduous leaf but remain green throughout the winter. (Ex. Boxwood, Rhododendron, Azalea, Holly etc.)
Single Stem (tree): A tree with one single trunk.
Clump (tree): A tree with multiple trunks.
Shrub/Bush: A plant that stays smaller than trees and has many woody stems at or near the ground.
Perennial: A plant that goes dormant in the winter by dying all the way to the ground and reproducing its stem in the spring.
Annual: A plant that completely dies in the winter and must be replaced in the spring.
Caliper: The technical way to measure a tree. The diameter of the trunk is measured in inches.