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What is a bulbous plant? Is it a bulb? 

Any plant described as ‘bulbous’ will normally have a swollen root or stem – or even leaves – underground. (Some orchids and other plants have swollen stems – above ground. These are not normally referred to as being bulbous!

The purpose of the bulbous part of the plant is to store food for the plant parts that live above ground. It may well be that the plant dies down for a rest at some part of the year.

 The ‘bulbous’ part of the plant will store the food needed for the plant to restart growth when it is ready.

The bulbous parts can be either ->>>>

  • Bulbs – daffodils, tulips, snowdrops etc
  • Corms – cyclamen, gloxinias, crocus etc
  • Rhizomes – Lily of the Valley, Border/Flag Irises – also weeds such as Bindweed, Creeping grasses.
  • Tubers – dahlias, begonias, (potatoes)

Begonias are grown from Tubers - not bulbs
A good show of Tuberous Begonias. The tubers can be kept overwinter and re-started in spring. - Tender

Tulip bulbs are true bulbs
A display of healthy Tulip Bulbs to be found at garden centres in September-October. - Hardy

Cyclamen are grown from corms
Cyclamen coum Hybrids - Grow from a corm that is just below, or at the soil surface. It is left in position in the garden. - Hardy

Flag Iris - Grows from rhizomes which sit on the surface of the soil. - Hardy 

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