One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.Compare with bulb (sense 1)
radicle, rootstock, tuber, tap root, rootletView synonyms
- ‘The plant is tough to stamp out because it develops a system of roots and rhizomes, horizontal underground stems that descend as far as six feet into the sand.’
- ‘Despite their differing underground structures, corms, tuberous roots, and rhizomes are all referred to as bulbs.’
- ‘In addition, shrub roots and rhizomes grow into above-ground gaps, making below-ground gaps smaller than above-ground gaps.’
- ‘Mucilages found in rhizomes, roots and seed endosperms may act primarily as energy reserves whereas foliar mucilages appear not to serve as storage carbohydrates.’
- ‘Irises grow from thick, underground stems, called rhizomes, that store food produced by the leaves.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek rhizōma, from rhizousthai ‘take root’, based on rhiza ‘root’.
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