Herbs and grasses Herbs and grasses have non-woody or flexible stems, with a height usually below 1-2 m. Herbs and grasses show the greatest diversity of species, providing food for many animals. Their life cycle is mainly annual, an example being the umbrella milkwort, growing and blooming in the spring, dying in the summer and leaving a testimony in the form of seeds that germinate with the first autumn rains. This life style is an adaptation to the extreme drought in the Mediterranean summer. There are other strategies, such as to go through the dry period in the form of underground bulbs or tubers, and form a new stem when favourable conditions return (eg. barbary nut, daffodils and orchids). Herbs and grasses are responsible for the most spectacular colour changes in the landscape throughout the year. At the peak of flowering, some species lend a dazzling colour palette to the montado meadows, like the intense white of the weedy dogfennel, the purple from purple viper's bugloss or red from the red dock, giving place in summer to the straw-yellow grasses.