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In botany and dendrology, a rhizome (/ˈraɪzoʊm/, from Ancient Greekrhízōma (ῥίζωμα) – "mass of roots",[1] from rhizóō (ῥιζόω) "cause to strike root")[2] is a modified subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are also called creeping rootstalks or just rootstalks.[3] Rhizomes develop from axillary buds and grow horizontally. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards.[4]

A rhizome is the main stem of the plant that runs underground horizontally.[5] A stolon is similar to a rhizome, but a stolon sprouts from an existing stem, has long internodes, and generates new shoots at the end, such as in the strawberry plant. In general, rhizomes have short internodes, send out roots from the bottom of the nodes, and generate new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes.

stem tuber is a thickened part of a rhizome or stolon that has been enlarged for use as a storage organ.[6] In general, a tuber is high in starch, e.g. the potato, which is a modified stolon. The term "tuber" is often used imprecisely and is sometimes applied to plants with rhizomes.