Tubers, Corms, Rhizomes, and Bulbs... What's the Difference?
Over time, the term "bulb" in gardening terminology has come to describe any type of root form that is planted in the ground to produce a plant. However, only a few of these plants can truly be defined as bulbs. There are four different types of reproductive structures, including Tubers, Corms, Rhizomes, and Bulbs. We'll explain exactly what the true difference is between these four terms!
Tubers are formed from a stem or root. They store nutrients that allow the plant to grow the following season. Shoots grow upwards from many different places on the tuber. Examples of tubers are Dahlias, Begonias, Anemones and Potatoes.
Corms are actually enlarged underground stems that store nutrients, surrounded by papery outer layers. After stems sprout from the corm, buds form on top of the stem. Corms at their center are solid tissue, whereas Bulbs are immature layers of leaves. At the end of the growing season, a new corm typically grows on the base of the spent one, and plants regrow from new corms each season. Examples of corms are Gladiolus and Crocus.
Rhizomes are stem-like structures that grow horizontally across the ground, forming roots from the bottom while sending shoots upward. Buds form at different parts along the structure, not necessarily at the top. Rhizomes store nutrients for newly growing plants. Examples of rhizomes are Bearded Iris, Canna Lilies, and Calla Lilies.
A bulb is comprised of a plant's stem and leaves. The bottom of the bulb is a compacted stem, and roots grow from this part of the bulb. Layers of nutrient-filled leaves sit at the bottom of the bulb and surround a bud that eventually becomes the flower. Examples of bulbs are Tulips, Lilies, and Daffodils.
Whether your plants are growing from a Tuber, Corm, Rhizome, or Bulb, all of these plant structures are sure to produce a spectacular show in the spring and summer months. Happy Gardening!
If you have questions about how to grow these plants, visit The Tool Shed, our source for helpful planting guides! Or, contact us to speak to our team for friendly garden advice.
Shop Flower Bulbs (and Corms, Rhizomes, and Tubers!)
Enjoy the splendor of spring with our Sunset Hues Flower Bulb Collection! This collection features Crocus, Hyacinth, and Tulip flowers with touchable textures, sweet scents, and suns...Learn MoreSunset Hues Flower Bulb Collection Bright & Juicy Bulb Collection$50.98 Sale $38.00Per Collection of 47Enjoy the splendor of spring with our Sunset Hues Flower Bulb Collection! This collection features Crocus, Hyacinth, and Tulip flowers with touchable textures, sweet scents, and sunset-inspired hues of purple, orange, and apricot. Enjoy a succession of blooms from late winter through late spring. Your garden will have lasting color all spring season, and the blooms make great cut flowers, too. Collection of 47 bulbs.
Our Naturalizing Nectar Low-Grow Bulb Collection features vigorous compact flowers that will multiply and spread to create a colorful carpet of blooms. This collection features some ...Learn MoreNaturalizing Nectar Low-Grow Bulb Collection Naturalizing Nectar Low-Grow Bulb Collection$59.98 Sale $44.99Per Collection of 114Our Naturalizing Nectar Low-Grow Bulb Collection features vigorous compact flowers that will multiply and spread to create a colorful carpet of blooms. This collection features some of our bestselling Daffodils, Grape Hyacinths, and Wildflower Tulips, which bloom in succession from early to late spring. Plant as garden edging, or plant right in your yard to create a flowering lawn. Wake up your yard with welcomed color before your lawn and perennials grow in and provide important early-season food for pollinators! Collection of 114 bulbs.
Featuring violet, deep burgundy, and nearly black blooms, our Dark & Stormy Flower Bulb Collection will make waves in your spring garden. These rich colors and silky textures will he...Learn MoreDark & Stormy Flower Bulb Collection Dark & Stormy Bulb Collection$57.98 Sale $43.49Per Collection of 44Featuring violet, deep burgundy, and nearly black blooms, our Dark & Stormy Flower Bulb Collection will make waves in your spring garden. These rich colors and silky textures will help you shake off the winter blues and start your growing season with dramatic, full-bodied colors. Enjoy a succession of Tulip and Persian Lily blooms from early to late spring. Pair this collection with richly hued Bearded Irises, or plant them to contrast softer Daffodils and classic spring blooms. Collection of 44 bulbs.
Our Strawberries & Cream Daffodil Collection features luscious layers of petals with accents of pink and tangerine to sweeten your spring display. This collection features tried and ...Learn MoreStrawberries & Cream Daffodil Collection Strawberries & Cream Daffodil Collection Narcissus$51.98 Sale $38.99Per Collection of 30Our Strawberries & Cream Daffodil Collection features luscious layers of petals with accents of pink and tangerine to sweeten your spring display. This collection features tried and true Royal Horticultural Society award winning varieties. Easy-to-grow Daffodils are deer resistant and will come back year after year, gently naturalizing through your garden. Bee-and-butterfly-friendly flowers bloom from mid to late spring, with some into early summer. Great cut flowers. Collection of 30 bulbs.