Rhizome Vs. Root

Difference Between Rhizome And Root

It is important to recognize the plants as one of the most important suppliers for continued life. Botany paves the way for further research on plants and their families. Wonders of the plant life opens the minds of many a people.

Rhizomes are stems which are normally underground, often branching  shoots and roots from its very nodes. Its root lies in a Greek word. “Rhizomes” which means “a lot of roots”. Rhizomes are mostly underground modified stems. They develop a parallel surface with nodes and inter-node of the stems, small leaves and buds. Rhizomes work as food storages and support vegetative propagation, which is a method of growing rhizomes to convert into new plants. Plants of this category consist of ginger, orchids, asparagus and hops.

Plants containing rhizomes are those that nest on the ground or lie on the ground with ferns. Rhizomes usually form a single layer, however a plant called The Giant Horse Tail has a no of layers.

Although the roots are a part of the root system and seldom rhizomes are located under their hood, the body of a root is usually located below ground. But some roots grow aerially or above the ground in air, or in water.

Four main functions of the roots are absorbing water and other constituents, storing food materials, preserving the soil from damage and attaching the plant to the ground level. Roots are important not only plants but also to people. Apart from plants that humans consume as a part of diet, roots may also be used for the same purpose. Fortunately, the roots have proved to contain important nutrients and minerals and hence can also be used in health care. The roots also have a great responsibility of maintaining a healthy environment for humans.


1. Rhizomes are mostly underground modified stems, and roots are part of the root system of rhizomes located under the hood.

2. Rhizomes serve as storage of food and help in the propagation of vegetative roots. Their functions include storage of water and nutrients, storage of food, prevention of soil erosion and connecting to plant to its ground level.

3. Rhizomes comprise of nodes, inter-node, small leaves and buds, but the roots have no such parts


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  • Ofer E.H.

    Good article
    As an image better to show few examples as bamboo rhizomes – these can be even over 10 metres long.