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What is the difference between a stolon and a rhizome? Is a stolon above ground? Or can it be underground? Is it an above or under ground runner? Can a rhizone be above ground? Is a stolon a kind of rhizome? Or are they different? 88888 20:19, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


For those of you in New England who pronounce the above word as "Tuber," please note the inablility to produce low tones with one of these ;-) Weyandt 20:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


can you show an example of a tuber?

tubers are cool[edit]

tubers are weird i dont know why he he he? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:29, 25 February 2007 (UTC).

There's a reason the first sentence has a citation needed tag[edit]

A stolon develops above ground, not under ground as a rhizome does, and 'above-ground rhizome' is essentially a description of a stolon. Tubers, however, develop underground from rhizomes. That's why I changed the article and even gave a citation to back it up, something that the current version doesn't have.--Jcvamp 19:50, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Also 'The tuber usually, though not always, develops when the stolon becomes subterranean, such as in a potato[1].' is incorrect. Potatoes develop from rhizomes that are already underground, not stolons that have become subterranean.--Jcvamp 19:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Your confusing the general meaning of stolon with the morphologically correct one, potato tubers are stolons, they do not have roots but have nodes, they grow from stolon tissue. There are a number of tuber like structure and they can form from roots or stolons or rhizomes.

There are a number of plants that have rhizomes above ground or at the soil surface, many Iris species and tropical species have surface forming rhizomes. were they form does not make them rhizomes but the structure of the stem makes it a rhizomes.Hardyplants 02:10, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Also keep in mind that there are some species of plants that have runners or above ground stolons that develop tuberous ends and potato and some of its relatives can and do produce above ground tubers, some aquatic sedges form tubers at the ends of stolons, these tubers are swollen stolons that break free and form new plants.Hardyplants 12:39, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

If you have reliable sources for this, fair enough. I have five sources to back up my definitions, and the only one you listed for one of yours was a book that I don't have access to. All the evidence I've seen supports my arguments.--Jcvamp 17:39, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

"...Tuber fleshy swollen end of a stolon used for food storage.(The eyes of a potato are buds developing at the node)potato"[1] The problem might be that your references are to general and they confuse runner with stolon. A runner is a type of stolon that is above ground, a stolon moves at the soil surface or under the soil Hardyplants 21:51, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

These are some of my sources [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
Look at [15] especially, which states that the stems are technically rhizomes, but are traditionally called stolons. I think it's important for an encyclopaedia to show the correct details, though it could be mentioned that they are traditionally called stolons.--Jcvamp 20:35, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
There's also [16]--Jcvamp 21:04, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

They are all general sources that repeat each others information, my sources are from Scientists that study plant anatomy and morphology, over the weekend I will work on the rhizome page and cover the two basic types of rhizomes plus a few specialized ones that some plants like Orchids that grow in trees. In general biology and hort courses, they do not go into much details and runners work well as a representative of a stolon, thus this simplified version is the one propagated by general references.'

I am also working on pictures for all the different plants with stolons and rhizomes but have to find the time to dig the plants and take the pictures so that might take a few weeks. From one of your own sources, showing that stolons are below ground and runners are above ground[17]. Hardyplants 23:31, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I have a way to solve our Potato problem, it will take me a while to formalize it and have it put in the articles but I can outline it here. The problem with the terminologies in regards to rhizome or stolon goes back to how the potato is propagated. If the potato was to be grown from seed in a natural way, it would clearly show its self to be a stolon, but since most potatoes are cut up and planted deeper into the soil, when the eyes "sprout" and grow stems, those stems are rhizomes, do you see how this can cause problems? Hardyplants 07:31, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I can see your point and it makes sense. It sounds as though you know what you're talking about. It doesn't look like a clean cut issue. I've seen a couple of sources that agree with you, and some that back me up. I think the main issue will be proving the viability of the sources.
If it turns out that nothing can be determined either way, it might end up where we have to cover both definitions. The most important thing to me is that the information is correct. You seem to be a reasonable person, and you have discussed the issue rather than arguing, so I think that you genuinely want to make sure the information is correct.--Jcvamp 22:05, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Merged tuberous root into section Root Tubers[edit]

Article merged: See old talk-page here

Root tubers versus tuberous roots[edit]

Are these two structures analogous botanical terms? Are tuberous roots true tubers?

Root tubers and stem tubers are the same type of storage structure in function but are derived from different tissues and as such have different morphologies. Root tubers and tuberous roots are the same thing, just the way language says thing- roots that have tubers are called tuberous roots while the tubers themselves are root tubers. This article has suffered a lot over the last year and half; when it was divided into two separate articles (Root tubers & Stem tubers) and why is beyond me. It has lost a number of references two. If some one else does not come in response to your tag, I will clean it up and add in a number of references. Hardyplants (talk) 06:39, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, if I had enough sources, I would've done the update myself. But botany is not a subject I am very familiar with. I'm more of a cultivator and collector of plants than a true botanist. payxystaxna (talk) 07:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Technically the two parts are very different botanically. The main differences lie in the way the plant "reproduces" (also misleading, as tuberous growth is a cloning process, not reproduction proper). Generally speaking root tubers are simply organs meant to help over-"winter" plants during climactic/environmental extremes--the plants that grow from the buds are from the same plant stem. Stem Tubers, on the other hand, are technically new stems arising from the extension of the old plant--again, meant to assist in the over-"winter"ing of the plant. The differentiation is largely a matter of botanical placement, albeit on a quantified continuum rather than a de facto difference. That said, there is a slight difference in the way the plants perennialize--largely speaking the root tuber exhausts itself and does not create a "new" plant; where as the stem tuber creates a new plant (meaning a new stem crown and new root system). Both tubers "die off" as the plant uses up the resources for aerial growth--the difference is whether the plant is the same stem crown or a new one... —Preceding

Tuber v. corm[edit]

What is the difference between a tuber and corm? Does taro root qualify as a tuber or a corm? Thanks. ChildofMidnight (talk) 08:04, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

there is a see also section that was moved to the bottom, that touches on corms with a link to that page: Corm – modified stems covered by dry scale-like leaves called a tunic, differing from true bulbs by having distinct nodes and internodes. Taro is a tuber, it doe not have the dry leaf sheaths that typicality set apart corms. If you think we should cover the differences in more detail, let me know and I can add a section that compares and contrasts corms verses tubers. Hope this helps. Hardyplants (talk) 10:56, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
The distinction as stated in the article is not helpful: whether and how corms differ from true bulbs is not the issue here. According to [18] the differences between tuber and corm are that tubers have no specific basal section from which roots grow (so corms are oriented, while stem tubers are not), and that tubers do not have tunics. However, this does not appear to be an authoritative reference. Could someone provide a clear distinction, with a better reference? Ott2 (talk) 18:37, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

What about carrots?[edit]

What is up with them? Are they stem tubers or root tubers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Carrots (domesticated) are merely enlarged 'tap roots' which act as food storage for the plant's re-emergence in the next growing season to produce seed and die. They are not 'tubers' or stolons. New&originalusername (talk) 23:38, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Root tubers are usually defined, as in the article, as modified lateral roots, whereas storage tap roots, as in carrots, are not lateral. But it's not clear to me that this is really a fundamental difference, nor that the terms are always used consistently. (See also the material at Storage organ.) Peter coxhead (talk) 12:33, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
The French article has (in intro) that "La carotte est un tubercule d'hypocotyle, c'est-à-dire un tubercule formé en partie par l'hypocotyle et en partie par la région supérieure de la racine, et qui s'est tubérisé" --Jerome Potts (talk) 17:47, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately the reference given for this statement is very vague and doesn't have a hyperlink. The Flora of China and the Flora of Pakistan simply say a "taproot". It could be a "storage hypocotyl" (see Storage organ), but at present I can only say that reliable sources I can access all call it a taproot. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:12, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Added Main Page For Potatoes[edit]

I added the main page for potatoes. LoLegion (talk) 08:21, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Definition of Tuber[edit]

The definition of tuber given in this article seems to me at odds with the way the term is used by plant biologists. In my experience, tuber usually refers to a modified stem. It is true that the term root-tuber or tuberous root is used but it is probably an analogous term or, as the Encyclopedia Britannica calls it, a term used "imprecisely but widely". There is no plant anatomy or morphology text given as a reference in this article. The few I have looked in do not support the definition of tuber given here. I will look at some others next week. I think, one way or the other, there should be solid sources for the way tubers are portrayed in this article.

Does anyone have a better source for the definition given here?Michaplot (talk) 23:04, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

The Kew Plant Glossary, p. 124:
tuber. 1. a thickened branch of an underground stem ... 2. a swollen root or branch of a root ... (root-tuber)
I think that more theoretical texts generally use the term like Mauseth (Botany, 5th ed.), defining it to mean stem-derived (p. 672) but accepting that it is in practice used for other similar structures (p. 106). In horticultural works, the term is invariably used more widely, thus Brian Mathew (former taxonomist at Kew herbarium) in Growing Bulbs says "Many familiar garden plants possess tubers, for example, dahlias, potatoes and cyclamen." One issue in horticulture is that root tubers are generally of no value in propagation, so for example the dried structures sold as dahlia tubers always have a short section of stem attached from which the buds appear. For Cyclamen, see the last paragraph of Ornamental bulbous plant#Tubers with its sources; cyclamen tubers are not consistently classifiable as stem or root derived, but seem to combine both kinds of tissue in different proportions in different species (they are "hypocotyl tubers" rather than either "stem tubers" or "root tubers").
In short, I think it's easy to add sources to support the definitions used in the article; I've added these two and revised the lead section a bit.
However, the distinction between tubers like those of potatoes, which are not hypocotyl derived, and those of begonias, cyclamen and Dioscorea, which appear to be, isn't correctly made in the article and needs to be sorted. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:01, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. The article intro now seems more or less as I was thinking it should be--the term tuber is not clearly defined by many authors who use the term, so it is fair to acknowledge there is ambiguity in usage. Presenting some material on tuber ontogeny would be excellent, rather than the simplistic root/stem classification.Michaplot (talk) 20:15, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I would like to have more material here (summarized and cross-referenced at Ornamental bulbous plant). When I was working on that article I did search, but could only find information on individual genera/species (like the Dioscorea paper already referenced and Chris Grey-Wilson's monograph The Genus Cyclamen). Do you know of any up-to-date secondary sources on tuber ontogeny generally? Peter coxhead (talk) 21:40, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

This article is inaccurate[edit]

Unfortunately, my botany definitions aren't good enough, otherwise I could make all the corrections myself - but for starters, sweetpotatoes are not tubers - they are storage roots. Tubers are modified stems. I believe "tuberous root" is a misnomer.

See the last sentence of the lead section. In botany, it's frequently the case that terms are used differently in different sources, and there are sources that restrict "tuber" to "stem tuber". But equally there are very reliable sources that do not. Thus The Kew Plant Glossary includes both stem and root tubers under "tuber", saying "a swollen root or branch of a root ... (root-tuber)". Peter coxhead (talk) 06:02, 22 August 2015 (UTC)


I note that the introduction to the article, violated NPV rules. It used the phrase "some sources" and "treat" in a way that clearly implied that roots are not "real" tubers. No matter what the case. if the definition is in dispute, then this article needs to report both definitions in a neutral way. It should not choose sides. I edited this to make it neutral. Nick Beeson (talk) 12:35, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

I see that another editor has undone your changes; I would have done so too. The lead summarizes the article and does so neutrally: some sources require tubers to be stem-derived; others do not. A source for each view is presented below in the article. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:07, 5 June 2017 (UTC)