An annual is a plant that usually germinates, flowers and dies in one year.
Some perennials and biennials are grown in gardens as annuals for convenience, particularly if they are not considered hardy for the local climate.
Annuals are often used in gardens to provide splashes of color, as they tend to produce more flowers than perennials. Also, many food plants are, or are grown as, annuals, including most domesticated grains.
The life-cycle of an annual can occur in a period as short as two or three months in some species, though most last a bit longer. Vegetables grown in apartment container gardens can last up to two years, if they are maintained indoors during the winter months.
Examples of annual plants include peas and cauliflowers.