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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A further source of vegetative reproduction lies in the rhizomes of numerous species.
▪ Acorus and Anubias species have such rhizomes.
▪ New plants arise vegetatively from dormant buds on the short upright rhizome of the main root.
▪ Others are produced from thick rootstock called rhizomes.
▪ The rhizome cutting will produce shoots very quickly, and strong, fine roots will develop.
▪ The rhizomes can be divided, and two to four new plants will develop from a single plant.
▪ The creeping rhizome produces young plants which can be divided and transplanted.
▪ This is also true for plants cultivated in the aquarium, except those species forming rhizomes.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Rhizome \Rhi*zome"\, n. [Gr. ??? the mass of roots (of a tree), a stem, race, fr. ??? to make to root, pass., to take root, fr. ??? a root: cf. F. rhizome.] (Bot.) A rootstock. See Rootstock.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1832, from Modern Latin rhizoma, from Greek rhizoma "mass of tree roots," from rhizoun "cause to strike root, root into the ground, plant," from rhiza "root," probably from PIE *wrad- "branch, root" (cognates: Latin radix "root," Old Norse rot "root," Old English wyrt "plant, herb;" see radish).


n. 1 A horizontal, underground stem of some plants that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. 2 (context philosophy English) A so-called "image of thought" that apprehends multiplicity. See (w: Rhizome (philosophy)).


n. a horizontal plant stem with shoots above and roots below serving as a reproductive structure [syn: rootstock, rootstalk]


In botany and dendrology, a rhizome (, from "mass of roots", from "cause to strike root") is a modified subterranean stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are also called creeping rootstalks and rootstocks. Rhizomes develop from axillary buds and are diageotropic or grow perpendicular to the force of gravity. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards.

If a rhizome is separated into pieces, each piece may be able to give rise to a new plant. The plant uses the rhizome to store starches, proteins, and other nutrients. These nutrients become useful for the plant when new shoots must be formed or when the plant dies back for the winter. This is a process known as vegetative reproduction and is used by farmers and gardeners to propagate certain plants. This also allows for lateral spread of grasses like bamboo and bunch grasses. Examples of plants that are propagated this way include hops, asparagus, ginger, irises, Lily of the Valley, Cannas, and sympodial orchids. Some rhizomes which are used directly in cooking include ginger, turmeric, galangal, and fingerroot.

Stored rhizomes are subject to bacterial and fungal infections making them unsuitable for replanting and greatly diminishing stocks. However rhizomes can also be produced artificially from tissue cultures. The ability to easily grow rhizomes from tissue cultures leads to better stocks for replanting and greater yields. The plant hormones ethylene and jasmonic acid have been found to help induce and regulate the growth of rhizomes, specifically in Rheum rabarbarum ( rhubarb). Ethylene that was applied externally was found to affect internal ethylene levels, allowing for easy manipulations of ethylene concentrations. Knowledge of how to use these hormones to induce rhizome growth could help farmers and biologists producing plants grown from rhizomes more easily cultivate and grow better plants.

The poplars (species of Populus) are an example of trees that propagate using a rhizome. The Pando colony in Utah is a famous example, which has been living for about 80,000 years. The rhizome of a poplar colony is the key to its longevity: foragers, insects, fungus, and forest fires may destroy the above-ground portion of the tree, but the underground rhizome is somewhat protected against these threats.

A stolon is similar to a rhizome, but, unlike a rhizome, which is the main stem of the plant, 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; they send out roots from the bottom of the nodes and new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes. A stem tuber is a thickened part of a rhizome or stolon that has been enlarged for use as a storage organ. In general, a tuber is high in starch, for example, the common potato, which is a modified stolon. The term tuber is often used imprecisely, and is sometimes applied to plants with rhizomes.

Some plants have rhizomes that grow above ground or that lie at the soil surface, including some Iris species, and ferns, whose spreading stems are rhizomes. Plants with underground rhizomes include gingers, bamboo, the Venus Flytrap, Chinese lantern, Western poison-oak, hops, and Alstroemeria, and the weeds Johnson grass, bermuda grass, and purple nut sedge. Rhizomes generally form a single layer, but in Giant Horsetails, can be multi-tiered.

Many rhizomes have culinary value, and some, such as zhe'ergen, are commonly consumed raw.

Rhizome (disambiguation)

Rhizome may refer to one of the following:

  • Rhizome, a usually underground, horizontal stem of a plant
  • Rhizome (philosophy), a concept in the philosophies of Deleuze and Guattari
  • Rhizome (organization), an organization supporting art that uses new technologies
  • Rizome, a fictional multinational corporation in the novel Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling


Rhizome (philosophy)

Rhizome is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972–1980) project. It is what Deleuze calls an "image of thought," based on the botanical rhizome, that apprehends multiplicities.

Rhizome (organization)

Rhizome is a not-for-profit arts organization, that supports and provides a platform for new media art.

Usage examples of "rhizome".

Darla was upset by the incident of the Bandersnatch, her suspicions about Corey Rhizome were fully confirmed a few months later when Kellee Kaarp came over to visit.

These include the rhizomes turmeric and galangal, and the seed pods of several species of the ginger family, known as cardamoms.

Ferns, palms, bromeliads, proteas, orchids, shrubs, vines, cacti, creepers, bulbs and corms and tubers and rhizomes, bonsaied trees.

This oligopolistic model is not a rhizome but a tree structure that subordinates all of the branches to the central root.

This plant, which bore only ten tubers, would no doubt have resisted the drought for even a longer time, had I not previously removed three of the tubers and cut off several long rhizomes.

Did the three species just named, like their close allies, the several species of Utricularia, aboriginally possess bladders on their rhizomes, which they afterwards lost, acquiring in their place utriculiferous leaves?

Here too, the taxonomy gets tricky because some of the Zingiberaceae have been classified by their rhizomes as well as their seed pods.

The green tops and young roots, baked in the coals along with the sweet rhizomes of the sweetflag and the underwater base of the bulrushes, supplied the beginning of a meal.

They terminate in a rhizome, but this sometimes decays and drops off .

As it appeared probable that this plant would capture a greater number of animals in its native country than under culture, I obtained permission to remove small portions of the rhizomes from dried specimens in the herbarium at Kew.

These rhizomes appear exactly like roots, but occasionally throw up green shoots.

As the bladders are attached to the rhizomes, they are necessarily subterranean.

Similar papillae abound on the rhizomes, and even on the entire leaves, but they are rather broader on the latter.

On the other hand, the rhizomes bear bladders resembling in essential character those on the rhizomes of Utricularia.

Digging down to the underground system of roots and rhizomes, she collected several, and boiled the greenish-yellow goldenseal root to make a healing and insect-repelling wash for the sore eyes and throats of the horses.