Many plants accumulate
food -- sugars, starches, and other products --
especially in fruits and seeds and in modified roots and
various types (see Chapter 9) serve as food reservoirs.
Examples are Malus spp. (apples), Prunus spp.
(cherries), Mangifera indica (mangos), and Cucurbita
spp. (squashes), as well as the one-seeded dry
fruits of the grains, such as Triticum aestivum (wheat)
and Zea mays (corn).
such plants as Pisum sativum (English pea) serve
as food reservoirs.
food, such as the taproot of Daucus carota (carrots),
Pastinaca sativa (parsnips), and Beta vulgaris
(beets), and the tuberous roots of Ipomoea
batatas (sweet potatoes) and Manihot esculenta (cassavas).
These root tubers do not have buds or "eyes",
but may produce adventitious ones which become stems.
be adapted as food reservoirs, as in the following
- Stem Tubers usually
grow underground but have buds or "eyes"
from which spring new stems, such as in Solanum
tuberosum (Irish potato) or Caladium bicolor (caladium),
see Caladium hortulanum .
- Corms are
solid masses of stem tissue. They are actually a
condensed stem with a bud on top from which the new
stem grows. Gladiolus spp. (gladiolus) is an
example of a corm.
- Cormels are
small corms which form around the base of a
- Bulbs are
compressed stems containing a growing point (bud) or
flower bud enclosed by thick, fleshy scale leaves.
Some bulbs such as Hippeastrum spp.
(amaryllis) and Allium cepa (onion) are
called tunicate bulbs because they are
protected from drying and mechanical injury by dry
and membranous outer scales called a tunic.
- Other bulbs such
as Lilium longiflorum (Easter lily) are
called non-tunicate or scaly because
their outer scales are succulent and separate.
- Bulblets are
small bulbs growing from the main bulb, such as in Hippeastrum
- Bulbils grow
on the stem in the axils of leaves or bracts. They
may be small bulbs, as in some lilies, or leafy
appendages, as in Alpinia purpurata (red
ginger), Dietes iridioides (African iris),
and Hemerocallis spp. (daylilies). Bulbils
may be used for propagation.
- Rhizomes may
also become a food reservoir and also an easy means
of propagation by division into separate parts.
Examples are Heliconia spp. (heliconia), Arundinaria
gigantea (switch cane), and Pleopeltis
polypodioides (Resurrection fern).
Handbook for Florida, Revised Edition, Kathleen
C. Ruppert, January 1999 -- This document is copyrighted
by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the
State of Florida. UF/IFAS retains all rights under all
conventions, but permits free reproduction by all agents
and offices of the Cooperative Extension Service and the
people of the State of Florida. Permission is granted to
others to use these materials in part or in full for
educational purposes, provided that full credit is given
to the UF/IFAS, citing the publication, its source, and
date of publication.