Winter Plants, Green

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Winter Plants, Green


plants that go through the winter with green (assimilating) leaves. There are two types: green winter plants with a summer latent period and green summer-and-winter plants.

In the first group are plants whose shoots appear in autumn or the beginning of winter (September to December), and whose leaves function all winter, although their growth is slowed; the period of vigorous growth and blossoming begins in early spring (February to April), after which the superterrestrial shoots die (sometimes the entire plant dies). Predominantly annuals (bulbous meadow-grass, thick-stemmed sedge, and bulbous barley) and a few perennials (desert candles, asphodel and other Liliaceae), the rhythm of their development reflects the specifics of a Mediterranean climate (a mild, humid winter and a dry, hot summer). In the USSR they prevail in the ephemeral deserts and low-grass semisavannas of Middle Asia and are abundantly represented in semideserts, the southern steppes (near the Black Sea, in the Transcaucasus), and in the sparse juniper forests of Southern Crimea.

Summer-and-winter green plants retain their green leaves year-round. The life span of each of their leaves is less than a year, in the course of which a succession of leaves occurs (usually spring and autumn leaves). Summer-and-winter green plants are widely represented in the forest zone, especially in meadows, including strawberry, lady’s mantle, water avens, sorrel, and many meadow grasses (meadow and red fescue, timothy, and hair grass).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.