The process of a plants experiencing a period of low temperatures prior to flowering and setting seed. The plants in question remain vegetative during the warm season, receive low temperature during the winter, grow a bit further, then bear flowers and fruits. The requirement of low temperature serves to prevent premature reproductive development in autumn, allowing the plant to reach vegetative maturity before reproduction can occur. The condition can occur in winter varieties of certain annual food plants (eg. wheat, barley, rye), in certain biennial plants (eg. cabbage, sugar beet, carrot), and in certain perennial plants (eg. chrysanthemum).