Perennials maintain a root system from which new top growth emerges each year. They produce seeds that are stored in the soil and sprout in following years.
Broadleaf perennials often have showy flowers. Grass or grass-like perennials have narrow leaves with parallel veins.
Annuals sprout from a seed, flower, set seed and die in one year. They produce seeds that are stored in the soil and sprout in following years. Winter annuals sprout in the fall and winter then actively grow in spring. Summer annuals sprout in the spring and are kill by frost.