Ornamental plants are those that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as houseplants, for cut flowers and specimen display. The cultivation of these, called floriculture, forms a major branch of horticulture.
Most commonly ornamental garden plants are grown for the display of aesthetic features including: flowers, leaves, scent, overall foliage texture, fruit, stem and bark, and aesthetic form. In some cases, unusual features may be considered to be of interest, such as the prominent and rather vicious thorns of Rosa sericea and cacti. In all cases, their purpose is for the enjoyment of gardeners, visitors, and/or the public.
Dr. Richard Beeson