Tuber: the reserve organ is not to be confused with the bulb

Almost 3,000 tubers are consumed in the world, in order of importance, with potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams and taro.

What is a tuber?

The tuber is a fleshy organ born from it swelling of a stem or root, generally underground or on the surface. It contains nutrient reserves such as starch. Its shape is very variable, from a shaft to a carrot or so dahlia to the crepe in the cyclamen, passing the sphere in the potato more or less in a straight or elongated direction, etc.

This body allows:

  • the survival of the withered plant during periods of cold or drought, thanks to the surface shoots that are able to reform the stem and the new roots as soon as the environment becomes favorable. Hardy (canna) sensitive tubers can be dug out in November and stored in a dry place, protected from frost (in sand or shavings). Vegetable tubers can be stored in a silo until consumption.
  • there vegetative reproduction by separating the tubers of the plant or by cutting a part of the tuber, if it has at least one eye (cub). Tiger lily aerial bulbs (Lilium lancifolium) for example, there are also tubers.

What are tuber plants?

Tubers are well represented in many plants grown in the garden, both for ornamental purposes and in the vegetable garden! Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • swollen roots in carrots, turnips, radishes, beets;
  • underground tuberous stems in potatoes, Japanese cross country, Jerusalem artichoke, pear, Peruvian vomit, garden iris;
  • swollen stem base kohlrabi, celery, etc.

What is the difference between tuber and bulb?

Tubercles are often included The “bulb plant” family although in the strict and botanical sense of the term bulb, it comes from the swelling of leaves piled up on a short stem like an onion.

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