What is a perennial? The term "perennial" refers to an herbaceous plant that typically dies back in winter but comes back year after year. Perennials are a great addition to the landscape for a variety of reasons. There are so many varieties to choose from, and there is almost certainly a perennial plant that will solve a garden problem. Some love hot, dry places. Some love damp, shady spots. Some grow tall, some form ground covers. There is likely a perennial that will fit nicely into almost any area of your yard, even a container!