Glossary Of Plant Root Systems

The different ways plants grow in the ground

Fibrous rooted: These plants have a lot of hairy little roots, and tend to be easy to divide.

Taprooted: These plants (like oriental poppies) send a carrot-like spear into the earth to anchor themselves.

Bulbs and corms: Some plants have something more substantial going on beneath the ground - a solid mass of material resembling an onion with roots emerging from the underside. These propagate by splitting off and making more little bulbs and corms that eventually grow to flowering size.

Tubers and rhizomes: These include things like potatoes - they form eyes and it is from these eyes that new plants emerge and grow. You can make more of any plant growing from a tuber or rhizome by cutting it into pieces at transplanting time, making sure each piece had a bit of the eye.