Tuberous roots


What is a tuberous root?

Tuberous roots are thickened roots. We must distinguish tubers from tuberous roots as in Dahlia, in which the thickened underground part of the plant is its roots, not its stem.

In practice it is quite difficult to distinguish a tuber from a tuberous root.

Edible tuberous roots

As an example of plant producing edible tuberous roots we have the cassava

Cassava (Manihot esculenta = Manihot utilissima) is a plant with tuberous roots that belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family, where some well-know herbs are included such as poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) and other shrubs such as Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)

Cassava is a perennial shrub 1 to 3 meters high. Thin stems that show the scars of their previous leaves. They are located at the top of the stems. Being palmado-lobed, they have up to 9 lobes and somewhat reminiscent of those of castor oil plant.

The most striking of the plant is its huge number of tuberous roots in 5-10 per plant. These can be up to 1.2 meters long and up to 23 cm in diameter.

From these roots, rich in starch, flour is obtained which is the main ingredient in the production of many food and drinks.


Cassava is also known as manioc, mandioca, yuca, mogo or kamoteng kahoy. It is actually a cultivated plant that can not be found in the wild nowadays.

punto rojo More information about types of roots and stems in the listing above

Vicente Martínez Centelles
Written by Vicente Martínez Centelles Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.

Article updated on: 23 April, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.