Root vegetables include some of the most versatile vegetables that are rich in essential nutrients and easy to cook into a delicious meal. In the simplest sense of the term, root vegetables are the edible roots of various plants eaten as vegetables.
The group includes true roots as well as corms, bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes, though the latter are not botanically considered roots but are modified stems. In a broader sense, root vegetables are plant parts, whether roots or stems, that work as carbohydrate storage organs.
Different root vegetables vary from each other based on the relative amount of sugars, starches, and other carbs, which often decide their taste and uses. Being the storage parts of plants, they also have a long shelf life.
List of Different Types of Root Vegetables
The list divides all the commonly known root vegetables based on whether they are true roots or modified stems.
True Root Vegetables
True roots can be of various types; the list here only includes the taproots and tuberous roots that are eaten as vegetables.
- Black Salsify
- Bush Carrot (Bush Potato)
- Murnong (Yam Daisy)
- Parsley Root
- Sweet Potato
- Cassava (Yuca Or Manioc)
- Chinese Yam
- Desert Yam
- Pignut (Earthnut)
- Mauka (Chago)
- Prairie Turnip (Timpsula Or Breadroot)
- Hornstedtia Scottiana (Scott’s Ginger)
- Arrowhead (Wapatoo)
- Chinese Water Chestnut
- Elephant’s Ears (And other plants in the Xanthosoma genus)
- Eddoe (Japanese Potato)
- Arthropodium Plants (E.g. vanilla lily, rengarenga)
- Lotus Root
- Typha (Cattail Or Bulrush)
- Oca (New Zealand Yam)
- Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke)
- Chinese Artichoke (Crosne)
- Tigernut (Chufa)
- Hog Potato
- Earthnut Pea (Tuberous Pea)
- Chinese Potato (Kembili)
- Daylily Tuber
Cassava, taro, sweet potato, and yam are the best-known examples of root vegetables originating from warm and humid tropical regions.
Rutabaga is a common root vegetable with a slightly bitter taste. Other examples include burdock and dandelion roots. The strong, earthy, and pungent flavor of dandelion root makes it a good coffee substitute.