Stoutemyer, Vernon T. Department of Agriculture Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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A plant that is grown and used for decorative or display purposes. The use of ornamental plants (also termed ornamentals) [see illustration] developed early in history for it is known that primitive peoples planted them near their dwellings. There was much use of flowers in the Greek and Roman worlds, and a small plant nursery was found in the ruins of Pompeii. Gardening in various forms has been a part of the cultures of all known great civilizations. Although increased urbanization has often reduced the areas that can be devoted to ornamentals, there is great interest in them, and the sums spent for plants and horticultural supplies are quite large. New plants from various parts of the world are constantly being introduced by individuals and by botanic gardens and arboreta. See also: Arboretum; Botanical gardens; Botany; Floriculture; Horticultural crops; Plant
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