<BGSOUND src="deciduous.wav"> deciduous



(L. deciduus: falling down) Describing plants in which all the leaves are shed at the end of each growing season, usually the autumn in temperate regions or at the beginning of a dry season in the tropics. This seasonal leaf fall helps the plant retain water that would otherwise be lost by transpiration from the leaves. The majority of temperate flowering trees and shrubs (such as oaks and roses) are deciduous, as are a few conifers such as the larch. Cf. caducous, fugacious, evergreen.