vern-, vernal-

(Latin: spring, of the spring [season])

prevernal (adjective) (not comparative)
Of or relating to the period of the year from late winter to the beginning of spring: Early spring is the prevernal part of the year which typically begins about mid-April in the western hemisphere.
vernal (adjective), more vernal, most vernal
1. Of, or characteristic of, or occurring in the prime of the year: After such a cold winter, we were looking forward to vernal sunshine.
2. Appearing or occurring in the time before summer: It was easy to observe the vernal migratory movements of the birds.

The vernal season is the period that extends from late April to late May in the northern hemisphere.

3. Appropriate to or suggesting the time after winter; springlike: It was wonderful to see the vernal greenery again.
4. Suggestive of youth; characteristic of youth; such as, being vigorous and fresh: The elderly couple often had vernal longings for their young days.
vernal equinox (s) (noun), vernal equinoxes (pl)
The point at which the sun's path crosses the celestial equator moving from south to north: The vernal equinox marks the zero point in both the equatorial and ecliptic coordinate systems; horizontal angular distances are measured eastward from this point.

The vernal equinox occurs on March 20 or 21 and the autumnal equinox on September 22 or 23, marking the beginning of spring and autumn, respectively, in the Northern Hemisphere (and the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere).

The term "equinox" comes from Latin meaning "equal night" because the days on which an equinox falls have about equal periods of sunlight and darkness.

vernal grass (s) (noun), vernal grasses (pl)
A sweet scented Eurasian plant that is sometimes grown as a meadow or hay plant: Vernal grass is said to have a sweet fragrance when it is new-mown hay.
vernal pool (s) (noun), vernal pools (pl)
A seasonal body of standing water that normally forms after the cold or very cold time of year from melting snow and other runoff, dries out completely in the hotter months of summer, and often refills in the autumn: Vernal pools range from broad, heavily vegetated lowland bodies to smaller, isolated upland bodies with little permanent vegetation.

The vernal pools don't contain fish and provide important breeding habitats for many terrestrial or semiaquatic species; such as, frogs, salamanders, and turtles.

vernalagnia (s) (noun), vernalagnias (pl)
A romantic mood brought on by the budding season after the frosty, freezing, and often sunless months: Vernalagnia is also known as spring fever.
vernalization (American), vernalisation (British) (s) (noun); vernalizations (American), vernalisations (British) (pl)
The cooling of seeds during germination in order to accelerate flowering when they are planted: The use of vernalization involves the induction and promotion of the flowering process in a plant by subjecting it to a temperature of less than ten degrees centigrade; therefore, simulating winter latent or inoperative.

Vernalization is commonly used for crop plants; such as, winter rye, and is possible because the seeds and buds of many plants require cold in order to break the cessation from or slowing of activity during the winter.

In order to flower at the right time, many plants must experience a period of cold to trigger the process of vernalization. If it doesn't get cold enough, flowering is considerably delayed or may not happen at all.

In addition, some of the plants which need vernalization are important food species; such as, sugar beets and wheat, which feed millions of people and provide much-needed income globally.

—Compiled partly from information located in
"Vernalisation", New Scientist, August 4, 2007; page 51.
vernalize (U.S.), vernalise (British) (verb), vernalizes; vernalized; vernalizing
Exposing plant seeds, or seedlings, to artificially cold temperatures in order to promote subsequent development and flowering: To shorten the growth period, some plants are vernalized by chilling or other special treatment of their seeds or bulbs.
vernation (s) (noun), vernations (pl)
In botany, the arrangement of young leaves in a leaf bud before it opens: The coiled arrangement of young leaves in fern fiddleheads is known as vernation or "circinate" vernation and protects the delicate leaf tips as they develop.