Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Deciduous, a term applied to all organs of plants that fall off early. The stamens are generally deciduous, falling off when the pollen is discharged; the petals are so also, falling after pollination; the sepals are so in some cases, as in the cherry. though not so in others, as in the apple, gooseberry, or tomato: the whole of a male intloreseence or catkin (q.v.) often is so after the discharge of the pollen, as in the hazel: and sometimes these branches, when shed, bear one or two foliage-leaves, as in willows. The winter bud-scales or perulae are commonly deciduous, as are also the stipules in some cases where they serve the same purpose. Leaves are termed deciduous when they fall before the unfolding of a fresh crop, so that the plant is left with bare boughs. The larch and the deciduous cypress (Taxadium) are exceptional among gymnosperms in being deciduous; but among angiosperms it is the rule for the trees and shrubs of the cooler temperate and arctic zones to be so. Some plants are only deciduous when the winter is severe, as in privet. The fall of the leaf (q.v.) has the effect of checking the growth of the plant, and so bringing about the arrangement of wood in annual rings. Deciduous trees are, though generally rare, common in England: in most countries deciduous trees are the exception.