Important Differences between Rhizoids and Rhizomes

Rhizoids vary from rhizomes in the fact that rhizoids are root-like structures emerging from the epidermal cells of the bryophytes, while rhizomes are root-like modified and underground altered stems, which continuously grow horizontally. While the rhizoids are involved in absorbing water and nutrients and attaching to the substrates, rhizomes serve as food reserves used in vegetative propagation.


  • Rhizoids are root-like structures involved in attaching to the substrate and absorbing water and nutrients
  • These structures are similar in function and even structure to that of the root hair seen in terrestrial vascular plants
  • These structures can also be seen growing in fungi. In fungi, these appear as tiny branching hyphae growing downwards from the stolons anchoring the fungus
  • Rhizoids are trichomes in terrestrial plants, anchoring the plants firmly to the ground


  • Rhizomes are horizontal underground structures used in storing starch and proteins, enabling plants to survive underground
  • Similar to the rhizome is the stolon; however, the stolon sprouts from the existing stem and possesses long internodes generating newer shoots towards the end
  • Rhizomes possess short internodes, gives out roots from the bottom of the nodes and give rise to new shoots growing upwards from the nodal apex

Key Difference between Rhizoids and Rhizomes

The table below depicts the important differences between Rhizoids and Rhizomes.



What is it?

Root-like structures anchoring non-vascular plants to a substrate seen in fungi and primitive plants

These are continuously growing, horizontal underground stems, serving as food reserves

Origin of growth

From epidermal cells

From the main stem

Cellular organization

Could be unicellular or multicellular


Can it give rise to new roots?



Can it give rise to new plants?




Seen in primitive plants such as liverworts, mosses, some algae, fungi, non-vascular plants

Vascular plants


Aids in attaching to the surface and absorbing water and nutrients

Storage of food and vegetative propagation of plants

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