What is the difference between tuber, root and bulb?

The main difference between tuber, tuberous root and bulb is in which part of the plant grows to accumulate energy.

While tubers accumulate in the stem, as in the case of potatoes and yams, tuberous roots store nutrients in their roots, such as carrots and beets. The bulb also accumulates nutrients in the stem, but it has a different and flat shape.

Tuber Root Bulb
Developed part In tubers, the part developed to accumulate energy is the stem. In tuberous roots, nutrients are accumulated within the root itself. The bulb also develops and accumulates energy in its stem, but it has a different shape.
Stalk Tubers have an underground stem, in a generally rounded shape. The stem is partially out of the ground. It has an underground stem, in the shape of a disk, which is known as a “dish”.
Root The roots of the tuber are responsible for fixing it to the soil. They do not accumulate nutrients, they only absorb and conduct. Accumulates energy. Bulb roots do not accumulate nutrients.
Examples Potato, yam. Radish, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, cassava Onion garlic.


Tubers are the vegetables where the stem is the developed part, to accumulate nutrients. It is this developed part that serves as food.

Usually its stem has a rounded and hypertrophied shape, which accumulate starch. Its roots have the function of fixing the vegetable to the soil and carrying nutrients and water, but without storing them.

The most well-known tubers are potato, yam and yam.

Tuberous root

Tuberous roots are those that grow underground. Its nutrients accumulate inside the root, and its stem is above the surface.

The best-known tuberous roots are beets, carrots, cassava and sweet potatoes.


Bulbs also accumulate nutrients in their stem, however, unlike tubers, they have a flattened shape, called a dish.


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