Vegetative Reproduction- Bulbs, Corms, Tubers, and Rhizomes?

1. Plants Propagation

Propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, and other plant parts. Plant propagation can also refer to the man-made or natural dispersal of seeds. 

Propagating plants is an inexpensive and easy way to get new plants from the existing plants we already have.

 Plants propagate from many sources. Seeds are the most common way but plants can also reproduce through offsets, corms, rhizomes, tubers, and bulbs.

2.Vegetative reproduction in Plants

It is any form of asexual reproduction occurring in plants in which a new plant grows from a fragment of the parent plant or a specialized reproductive structure such as rhizomes, stolons, corm, tubers or bulb.

True bulbs, Tubers, Rhizomes and Corms are collectively referred to as bulbs but there are major differences. They all serve the same purpose: to store food as an energy reserve for the plant to use to complete its life cycle. Here is a brief explanation of the differences.

3. Bulb

Horticulturalists call these bulbs as true bulbs to distinguish them from all the other types of bulbs. True bulbs have a flat part, called a basal plate, the point where roots of the plant grow and shoots and scales are attached. Above lies almost a round bulb which consists of layers of modified leaves and contains a little flower or sprout in the center. True bulbs have new bulbs, called offsets, which form from the basal plate. When they get big enough, these offsets, or daughter bulbs, produce flowers on their own.

 Look at the onion on its base there lies its basal plate. Now cut an onion in half from top to bottom you will find all the layers attached t to the basal plate. the roots at the bottom of the bulb support the plant to the ground and absorb water and nutrients. Other examples of true bulbs include garlic, amaryllis, tulips, daffodils and lilies.

4. Corms

, Corms look like true bulbs but they are solid and don’t have layers of modified leaves as in bulbs. Corms are stem tissue, modified and developed to store food. Corms have a basal plate at the bottom and one or more growing points at the top.

 As the leaves and flowers grow, they absorb the nutrients and the corm shrinks up and disappears. One or more additional corms are produced through the growing plant and that’s how the plant regenerates itself. Examples of corms include crocus, Gladiolas and tuberous begonias.

5. Rhizome

Rhizomes are simply fleshy underground stems. They grow underground or right at ground level with many growing points or eyes similar to potatoes. They strike new roots out of their nodes, down into the soil. They also shoot new stems up to the surface out of their nodes. This rhizome activity represents a form of plant reproduction. These underground plant parts also store nutrients.

Rhizomes definition

 Common examples of rhizomes include canna lilies, bearded Iris, ginger, bamboo, poplars, turmeric, lotus, and many types of ferns. 

6. Tubers

The most well-known tuber is potatoes. Tubers can be easily recognized by the eyes from which the stems grow.  They lack basal plate. They have several growing points, called eyes.These types of plants can be cut into pieces and re-grown as long as each piece contains an eye. Other examples of tubers include dahlias and caladiums.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *