Annual (botany)

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An annual is a plant which grows only for one year, and then dies in the winter. In order to farm or grow ornamental annual plants, seed (or seedlings) must be produced or bought and planted each spring.

If the plant in question is being grown for the food value of its seeds, like most grains, the farmer must ensure sufficient production of seeds to not only provide a viable crop for food, but enough to store over the winter and plant for the next year's crop. Sometimes agricultural societies encounter disastrous famines if production is too low, forcing them to eat all the seed stock to survive the winter, leaving them nothing to plant the following year.