So today the girlfriend and I had a debate over whether the humble potato was a vegetable or not. I, schooled in such matters, knew it was not a vegetable but a tuber, a sort of swollen root thing. But then was posed the question- what are other examples of tubers?

After doing some investigating I discovered that there are two types of tubers- root and stem. "Stem tubers form from underground stems known as rhizomes" whereas "root tubers are formed when sections of the root swell and bud" (
link). The potato is a stem tuber, and an example of the root tuber is a dahlia. Other tuber examples include anemones, caladiums, oxalis, sweet potatoes and the yuca, also known as 'manioc' and 'cassava'. The yam (another tuber) is completely unrelated to the sweet potato, despite the fact that they are often confused.

Interesting stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

evidently a vegetable. a tuber is a vegetable, it is edible therefore a vegetable.

As the ever trustworthy wikipedia points out, "The term "vegetable" generally refers to the edible part of a plant" hence a potato is a vegetable.