Tuber, tuberous root and bulb

Tubers, tuberous roots, and bulbs differ depending on the part of the plant in which they store energy.

In tubers , the nutrient reserve organ is the stem, as in potatoes and yams.

In tuberous roots , nutrients are stored in their roots, as in carrots and beets.

In the case of the bulb , the stem also functions as a reserve organ, but differs from tubers by having a different and flattened morphology, such as onion and garlic.

TuberTuberous rootBulb
Developed partIn tubers, the developed part that stores nutrients is the stem .In tuberous roots, nutrients are stored within the root itself .The bulb also has a developed stem , in which it stores energy, but has a different morphology.
StemThe tubers have an underground stem, presenting a generally rounded shape.Part of the stem is exposed, outside the ground.It has an underground, flattened and scaly stem, located on a basal disc.
RootThe roots of the tuber fix it to the ground, absorbing and transporting nutrients, but without storing them.It has a main root, which stores energy, in addition to other secondary roots that carry nutrients.The roots of the bulbs carry nutrients, but do not store them.
  • Papa (Solanum tuberosum),
  • Yam ( Dioscorea alata ),
  • Ginger ( Zingiber officinale ).
  • Radish ( Aphanus sativus ), beetroot ( Beta vulgaris ),
  • Sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato or sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas ),
  • Carrot ( Daucus carota ),
  • Yuca (Manihot esculenta).
  • Onion ( Alliumcepa ),
  • Ajo ( Allium sativum )
  • The boy ( another ameloprasum ).



The word tuber comes from the Latin tuberculum , which means ‘small swelling’. The tubers are vegetables that have thickened stems, in which the plant stores the necessary nutrients for its subsistence. Because it contains a large amount of carbohydrates, its stem is consumed as food, as it is a good source of energy.

This has a rounded and hypertrophied shape in which it stores starch. Its roots have the function of fixing the plant to the ground and serve to transport nutrients and water, but without storing them.

Some well-known tubers are potatoes, yams, and ginger.

Tuberous root

The word tuberous comes from the Latin tuberosum , which means ‘full of bumps’. Unlike tubers, the plant’s energy reserve organ is the root and not the stem, which is why it is known as a ‘root tuber’. Its nutrients are stored within the root, below the ground, while its stem grows on the surface from its roots.

Some known tuberous roots are beets, carrots, cassava, and sweet potatoes.


The word bulb comes from the Latin bulbus , which in turn has its origin in the Greek bolbos , and refers to a swollen or rounded plant. Although bulbs store nutrients in their stem, they differ from tubers because they have a flattened shape or ‘basal disk’, from where their roots grow. In addition, the bulbs have a covering or tunic that protects their inner scales.

The best known examples of bulbs are onion and garlic.

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