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Stems vs. Roots: similarities and differences
In some cases, roots look comparable to stems—so what"s the difference? It"s tempting to say that stems are above ground, and roots below ground—but that"s not completely accurate. (See sidebar.) One straightforward difference is the stems be affected by each other leaves, and roots don"t. Below are part other, less obvious, ways to distinguish stems from roots. Similarity: Both stems and roots contain vascular tissues (xylem and also phloem), the circulatory system of the plant.

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Difference: In herbaceous stems, the vascular organization are contained in bundles; this bundles sit fairly near the surface of the stem. In roots, the vascular tissues kind a main core—a location where they"re defended from the harsh activity of pushing with soil. (We space referring come young, non-woody tissues.)

Comparison the Stem and also Root Cross-Sections


Similarity: Both stems and also roots space able come initiate lateral growth: the is, to kind "branches."

Difference: In stems, side branches arise native axillary buds. These sprout are situated at the nodes in the leaf axil (the point where the sheet attaches come the stem).

Lateral roots, top top the other hand, arise indigenous deep within the root"s tissue, near the main core. Root don"t have actually nodes, and they don"t have buds.



Role reversal Though many stems are above ground, and also most roots are underground, this isn’t always the case. Take into consideration the complying with underground plant parts:

--potato tuber --iris rhizome --tulip bulb --gladiolus corms

We may think of them as roots, and also in numerous ways they carry out the same attributes as roots, but, technically speaking, these are all modified secret stems.

Have you ever noticed the little aerial roots sprouting native the tribe of philodendrons and also orchids? together you could have guessed, these are examples of above ground roots.

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deserve to you think of any type of other instances from her (Hint: remember the all stems have actually nodes and also buds on their surface—the eyes on a potato, for instance. Roots carry out not have buds—any side growth arises from the main core.