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. While botany distinguishes true roots such as tuberous roots and taproots from non-roots such as tubers, rhizomes, corms, and bulbs (though some contain both taproot and hypocotyl tissue, making it difficult to tell some types apart), in ordinary, agricultural, and culinary use, "root vegetable" can apply to all these types.[1]

Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates.[citation needed] 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.

The following list classifies root vegetables according to anatomy.

True root[edit]

Further information: root

Storage roots are very common all over the world. There are more than 50 types of storage roots (categorised in bulb, rhizome, tubers)

Cassava tuberous roots

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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