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Tubers: what they are and examples

Tubers: what they are and examples

Tubers are a very important part of the vegetable products that are currently consumed, with such representative examples as potatoes or carrots. These are, in general, very nutritious parts of plants, with high carbohydrate content and easy to grow, without excessive difficulties.

If you want to learn more about tubers and see some of their most representative examples, join us in this EcologíaVerde article on what are tubers and exampleswith 25 names and photos of some of them.

What are tubers – summary

The tuber is, in the field of botany, part of a root or underground stem which has specialized for storage of reserve substances and that, for this, it undergoes a marked thickening. Therefore, there are two types of tubersthe root and the stem, but in both cases it is a thick part in which nutrients and substances for the plant are stored, always partially or completely underground.

As food, they are very nutritious and economically grown vegetables. They have a high starch content, which makes them rich in carbohydrates, making them an excellent source of energy.

types of tubers

As we have mentioned above, there are two big types of tubers. These are its main characteristics:

stem tubers

They are characterized by forming near the ground surface level. In them, the stem is the part of the plant that thickens and, instead, the roots grow later from the tuber itself. An example of this type of tuber is the carrot.

root tubers

They are produced from thickenings of a section of the root itself. It may happen that the tuber is the root in its entirety or that it affects only some parts, so that a single plant develops several tubers, as is the case with potatoes. This type of tubers is also characterized in that if a part of the tuber is cut, each piece can produce a whole new plant, something that does not happen with stem tubers.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Types of tubers

Tubers: examples

This is one tubers listwhich includes some of the names of edible tubers More popular:

  • Arracacha
  • sweet potato
  • Chago
  • Parsnip
  • Chufa
  • Swede
  • Turmeric
  • daikon
  • Ginseng
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Konjac
  • Mashua
  • Turnip
  • Yam
  • Goose
  • Olluca
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Beetroot
  • Salsify
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • wasabi
  • Yucca
  • Carrot

Next, we talk about the characteristics of some of these tubers and show photos of each one.

sweet potato

scientific name Ipomoea batatas and also known as sweet potato or sweet potato, it is a tuber that has its origin in South America. Its meat can be white or orange. depending on the variety, and it has a sweet flavor halfway between that of potato and pumpkin.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Sweet potato or sweet potato

Chufa, the orchata tuber

This tuber called plug or Cyperus esculentus it is especially valued in parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Its flavor is sweet and starchy and, although it can be eaten raw, it is much more popular as an ingredient in tiger nut orchatahighly valued drink in some regions.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Chufa, the orchata tuber


Also called white radish or Japanese radish, this type of radish is native to East and Southeast Asia. From his appearance, the Raphanus sativus var. Longipinnatus reminiscent of a carrot, although somewhat larger and totally white in color. Its flavor is milder than that of the common radish, and it is a highly valued ingredient in oriental cuisine, both raw and cooked.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Daikon

Ginseng, a root tuber widely used in medicine

ginseng It is a whole group of species of the Panax genus and it is herbaceous of small size and slow growth. The most popular species are Panax quinquefolius and the panax ginsengwhich are tubers widely used in natural medicine.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Ginseng, a root tuber widely used in medicine

potato or potato

There are few tubers as international and well-known as the potato or potato. Originally from the Andes and scientific name Solanum tuberosum, is currently one of the most widespread foods on the planet and the fourth most widespread food crop in the world. There are innumerable varieties with adapted characteristics.

If you are interested in planting them at home, here is a practical guide on when and how to plant potatoes.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Potato


The name (Dioscorea rotundata or white yam Y Dioscorea cayenensis or yellow yam, among other varieties) originates from Africa and is a starchy tuber whose name means “to eat”. In Africa it has been consumed since prehistoric times and is currently widely spread, especially in South America.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Yam

Wasabi, a spicy tuber

Wasabi is obtained from the root of the plant. wasabi japonica, although by this name the most normal thing is to think of the Japanese hot sauce of the same name. This well-known thick sauce is obtained by grating the tuber of this plant and is characteristic for its exceptionally intense and spicy flavorwhich is causing it to become more and more popular in more countries.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Wasabi, a spicy tuber


The cassava or Manihot esculentaalso commonly called tapioca or cassava, has its origin in South America. Their skin is tough and woody-looking, but their meat is white and starchy. It is a very important source of carbohydrates in many tropical areas of Asia, America and Africa, just behind rice and corn.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Cassava


Another of the most consumed tubers and cultivated throughout the world is the carrot or Daucus carota. Most of its varieties are orange in color and what is usually consumed is the tuberous rootalthough its leaves are also suitable as food.

If you want to keep them fresh and organic at home, encourage yourself to grow them with this practical guide on when and how to plant carrots.

Tubers: what they are and examples - Carrot

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