Lifespan Moderate

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Sundrop, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes when reading the description of a plant I see cryptic information: "Lifespan Moderate". I wonder how to translate that "moderate" into the number of years?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Highly unpredictable. And it'll also vary with the type of plant (tree / shrub / herbaceous perennial) being so described.
     
  3. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, very vague & subjective. You really need the context. It could mean hundreds of years for a conifer, but maybe only 5-10 years for a perennial garden plant.
     
  4. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    How about for a shrub?
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Depends on the shrub. Brunfelsia, a lovely shrub classified as "lifespan moderate" will almost certainly die before you do. On the other hand, Rhododendrons and Azaleas, other lovely "lifespan moderate" shrubberies, will almost certainly outlast you if you care for them properly.

    How's that for cryptic? What kind of shrub is it?
     
  6. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    It was a general question.
    Regardless of my age?
     
  7. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    If it does not apply to a specific plant, then your answer is that "lifespan moderate" is meaningless gibberish. :)
     
  8. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it looks so.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Check the reference for a definition.
     
  10. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for my ignorance, but what do you mean Ron?
     
  11. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    "Lifespan moderate" sounds like marketing speak for either "short-lived" or "marginally hardy". Did you see the phrase in vendor descriptions of plants?
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look to see if the source using the term defines it elsewhere in the book or other venue.
     
  13. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    I have seen the term several times on the Internet. One example: http://www.wikiplants.com/tiki-index.php?page=Cornelian%20Cherry%20%28Cornus%20mas%20L.%29 I didn't see, and later (following Ron's advice) couldn't find the definition of the term on that website, though.

    The term is used on other websites, too, e.g. http://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=COMA21 and finally I found at least partial definition there (on a separate page: http://plants.usda.gov/charinfo.html)), that goes as follows:
    Lifespan: What is the expected lifespan (in years) of a perennial plant relative to other species with the same growth habit? For the Tree growth habit: Short: < 100; Moderate: 100 - 250; Long: >250. Lifespans for other growth habits are not quantified.
    ** Short, Moderate, Long

    Thanks everybody for your input in clarifying this. And, as always, I have learned more than that on the way.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Many terms are not applied universally, with the same exact meanings. You will find most serious works contain a glossary, where lingo used by them is defined.
     

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