Difference between Rhizome and Stolon

What is a Rhizome?

Rhizomes are modified underground stems that take part in vegetative propagation. It is a horizontal, fleshy plant stem that has the capability to give rise to new roots and shoots. It also serves as a storage organ by storing starch and proteins that can be used by the plant in unfavourable conditions.

It is also referred to as creeping rootstalk. Rhizomes are the main stem in some plants, such as water lilies and ferns and only flowers and stems are visible in such plants. The bamboo plant is entirely dependent on the rhizomes for their reproduction. Some directly edible rhizomes include ginger and turmeric.

What is a Stolon?

Stolons are stems that help in vegetative propagation. It is a horizontal slender stem that runs along or just below the ground surface. It can give rise to new roots and aerial branches from the nodes.

The stolons tend to arise from the base of the plant, and usually consists of nodes and internodes with small scale-like leaves on them. In strawberry, upright shoots are formed from the stolon nodes and give rise to new plants. Other examples of stolons include Hydrilla, Riccia and orchid.

The sporangiophores in fungi are connected to each other by filamentous structures that are also referred to as stolons.

Rhizome vs Stolon

Rhizome

Stolon

Definition

Rhizomes are underground stem modifications that take part in vegetative propagation.

Stolons are slender stems that take part in vegetative propagation.

Growth

It grows below the ground.

It grows along the ground surface or just below the ground.

Structure

It is a thick, fleshy structure.

It is a thin, slender structure.

Length

It is short and thick.

It is long and thin.

Rate of Growth

It grows at a slower rate.

It grows fast.

Storage Capacity

It can store starch and proteins in their fleshy structure that can be used by the plant in unfavourable conditions.

It has very little storage capacity.

Vegetative Propagation

The rhizomes tend to grow and expand slower, that is why they have less capacity for vegetative propagation.

The stolons tend to grow rapidly, and therefore have a higher capacity for vegetative propagation.

Examples

Ginger, turmeric

Strawberry, mint

Explore BYJU’S Biology for more related topics.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Rhizome and Stolon

How do you tell the difference between stolons and roots?

Stolons are thin filamentous structures that run horizontally along the ground surface, whereas roots are found below the ground and grow deep in the soil vertically.

What is the difference between a tuber and a rhizome?

Tuber and rhizome are underground modifications of the stem. The major difference between a tuber and a rhizome is that a rhizome grows horizontally to give rise to new plantlets, whereas a tuber can grow in any direction.

What two advantages do rhizomes and stolons provide?

Rhizomes and stolons have the following advantages:

  • They give rise to new plantlets that are clones of the parent plant and
  • They have storage capacity.

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