Examples of monocarpic and polycarpic plants. (a) A plant of Arabidopsis thaliana that has produced sufficient seed and is entering the phase of whole-plant senescence characteristic of many monocarpic plants. All of the shoots are floral, and this plant will soon die, despite being kept in optimal growth conditions. (b) Like A. thaliana, the monocarpic Haleakalā silversword dies after reproduction. But unlike A. thaliana, the silversword typically grows for several decades before flowering. (c) The above-ground parts of many polycarpic perennials that are adapted to temperate climates do senesce each year as winter approaches, and new growth emerges from below-ground parts of the plant in the following spring, as illustrated by this member of the lily family. (d) Arabis alpina is a polycarpic relative of A. thaliana. Whereas all shoots of A. thaliana undergo the floral transition, some A. alpina shoots remain vegetative to permit further growth and flowering in future years. A. alpina is a short-lived perennial that does not 'die back' in preparation for winter. Image of A. alpina courtesy of Maria Albani.