Difference between Herbs and Shrubs

Herbs and shrubs are the different types of plants categorized on the basis of their size and branching pattern. Herbs have soft and unbranched stems, whereas, shrubs have woody, branched and multi stems. Shrubs are often confused with herbs because of their similar characteristics, but shrubs are taller than herbs.

Let us explore more about the difference between herbs and shrubs with their examples.

Herbs vs Shrubs

Here are some important differences between herbs and shrubs:


Herbs are smaller than shrubs. Shrubs are comparatively taller than herbs
Have a single stem. Usually have multiple branches.
Have delicate and thin tissue. Have strong and wood tissue.
Annual, biennial, and perennial. Mainly perennial
Have non-woody and soft stems. Have woody, hard stems.
These stems have no branches. Some shrubs have many small leafy branches
Examples include- Rice, Wheat, Onion, etc.  Examples include- Orange, Rose Peach, Lavender, etc.
Can be easily uprooted Cannot be as easily uprooted as herbs

What are Herbs?

They are small plants with a green and tender stem. These plants have a green coloured, delicate stem with very few branches. These plants have very less strength in their stem and can be easily uprooted from the soil. They contain an adequate and essential amount of nutritional benefits including vitamins and minerals. Basil, garlic, mint, and tomato are a few examples of herbs around us.

Also refer: Herbs and their Benefits

What are Shrubs?

They are tall or medium-sized plants with the woody stem and several branches. These plants have a hard, flexible and strong root system. Hibiscus, jasmine lemon, and rose are some of the common shrubs around us.

Also refer: Shrubs and Uses

Discover more about Plants, its types, and other related topics only @ BYJU’S Biology

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