List of root vegetables

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Carrot roots in various shades from light to dark

Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Although botany distinguishes true roots (such as tuberous roots and taproots) from non-roots (such as tubers, rhizomes, corms, and bulbs, although some contain both taproot and hypocotyl tissue), the term "root vegetable" is applied to all these types in ordinary, agricultural, and culinary usage.[1]

Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of carbohydrate. Of particular economic importance are those with a high carbohydrate concentration in the form of starch. Starchy root vegetables are important staple foods, particularly in tropical regions, overshadowing cereals throughout much of West Africa, Central Africa,[citation needed] and Oceania, where they are used directly or mashed to make fufu or poi.

Many root vegetables keep well in root cellars, lasting several months. This is one way of storing food for use long after harvest, which is especially important in nontropical latitudes, where winter is traditionally a time of little to no harvesting. There are also season extension methods that can extend the harvest throughout the winter, mostly through the use of polytunnels.

The following list classifies root vegetables according to anatomy.

True root[edit]

Further information: root
Cassava tuberous roots
European Radish, Taproot

Root-like stem[edit]

Modified plant stem[edit]

Taro corms
Ginger rhizomes
Yam tubers
Nelumbo nucifera (lotus root)
Further information: plant stem


Shallot bulbs
Further information: bulb


  1. ^ López Camelo, Andrés F. (2004). Manual for the Preparation and Sale of Fruits and Vegetables. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 6. ISBN 92-5-104991-2. Retrieved 2009-07-31. However, in the case of potatoes (Figure 10), sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables, readiness for harvest is based on the percentage of tubers of a specific size.  Potatoes are technically tubers, not roots, and sweet potatoes are tuberous roots.

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