List of Vegetables: I. Examples of Vegetable Crops in Which the Consummable Plant Parts Consist Mainly of Roots

Below is a partial list of vegetables (or vegetable crops) with edible botanical roots. The scientific names, family, and other relevant information are likewise supplied.

This is Page 1 of five web pages. This provides some examples of vegetable crops having vegetative part (roots) that is used in the preparation of “vegetable” dishes or recipes. Those with other edible vegetative parts (stems and leaves) and reproductive parts (flowers, fruits and seeds) are treated in other separate pages.

Some plant species which are largely grown as agronomic crops are given as examples merely to provide information that they are also utilized as food crops with edible parts that are used in culinary preparation. If such is the case, the information is reflected in the fourth column.

Click here to read root crops vs. tuber crops vs. corm crops

With few exceptions, the botany of modified underground organs were confirmed from Kawakami (1978) and the family names from Simpson (2010). Major families are color coded for ease in compiling a list of vegetables under the same families.

For definitions of the types of vegetables, click here.

Table LV-1. List of vegetables (vegetable crops) in which the edible part of the plant body consists mainly of the root.

CROP NAME SCI. NAME FAMILY COLLECTIVE NAME FOR MEMBERS
OF THE FAMILY, OTHER INFO

Root Vegetables

Arrowroot, uraro Maranta arundinacea Araceae Arum family; the botanical name of the underground storage organ is tuberous root (Kawakami 1978)
Beet Beta vulgaris Amaranthaceae Amaranth family, including Chenopodiaceae; the botanical name of the underground storage organ is fleshy root (Kawakami 1978)
Cassava, tapioca, manioc Manihot esculenta Euphorbiaceae Spurge family; the botanical name of the underground storage organ is tuberous root; young leaves are also eaten cooked; generally classified as a starchy root crop (agronomic crop)
Carrot Daucus carota Apiaceae/Umbelliferae Carrot family; fleshy root
Parsnip Pastinaca sativa Apiaceae/Umbelliferae Carrot family; fleshy root
Raddish Raphanus sativus Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Mustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers; fleshy root
Rutabaga, swede Brassica napus Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Mustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers; fleshy root
Salsify, Oyster plant, Vegetable oyster Tragopogon porrifolius Asteraceae/Compositae Sunflower or Aster family
Scorzonera, Black salsify Scorzonera hispanica Asteraceae/Compositae Sunflower or Aster family
Sweet potato, camote Ipomoea batatas Convolvulaceae Morning Glory/Bindweed family; tuberous root; young leaves and stems (camote tops) are also eaten cooked or blanched; mainly grown as a starchy root crop (agronomic crop)
Turnip Brassica rapa Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Mustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers; tuberous root
Yam bean, singkamas Pachyrrhizus erosus Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family, also called Legumes; tuberous root; enlarged root is mainly consumed raw like a dessert fruit; young pods (fruits) are also eaten cooked

REFERENCES

  1. HILL A. 1972. Economic Botany. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd. 560 p.
  2. KAWAKAMI K. 1978. Physiology of yield of underground storage organs. In: Gupta US, ed. Crop Physiology. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. p. 269-309.
  3. PEEL L. 2004. HarperCollins Practical Gardener: Kitchen Garden. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 176 p.
  4. SIMPSON MG. 2010. Plant Systematics. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Inc. 740 p.
  5. The Essential Gardening Encyclopedia. 2003. San Francisco, CA: Fog City Press. 608 p.

(Ben G. Bareja, June 16, 2015)

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