The key difference between rhizome and stolon is that rhizome is the root-like main stem that grows underground while stolon is a stem sprouted from the existing stem that runs horizontally just below the soil surface to form a new plant and connect with the mother plant.
Rhizomes and stolons are special structures of plants. They are crucial in vegetative reproduction. Both parts can store foods as well. Not only that, both help plants to survive under harsh environmental conditions. Structurally, they are stems. The rhizome is the main stem that lies underground while stolon is a stem sprouted from the main stem that runs horizontally on the ground.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Rhizome
3. What is Stolon
4. Similarities Between Rhizome and Stolon
5. Side by Side Comparison – Rhizome vs Stolon in Tabular Form
What is Rhizome?
The rhizome is a root-like stem, which is a part of the main stem. It grows horizontally or in another direction inside the soil. This underground plant stem has nodes, and from those nodes, new roots and shoots originate. The rhizome is a useful part of vegetative propagation. It can give rise to a new plant. Also, it is a thick and short main stem. But, it grows slowly.
Rhizomes can be seen in plants such as ginger, iris, canna lily, Chinese lantern, poison-oak, bamboo, bermudagrass and purple nut sledge, etc.
What is Stolon?
Stolon or runner is a stem sprouted from the existing stem. It runs horizontally in the soil and connects two individual plants together. It mainly grows just below the soil surface or at the soil surface. Production of stolons is one of the strategies plants use for propagation. It facilitates the spread of plants from the main plants. It also helps the survival of the plants under harsh environmental conditions until the next season comes.
Stolons have nodes and internodes. Adventitious roots develop at the nodes and internodes, giving rise to new shoots from those points. Stolons can be seen commonly in weeds, strawberries, grasses, lily of the valley, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Rhizome and Stolon?
- Rhizome and stolon are stems of certain plants.
- Both can grow horizontally in the soil.
- They are useful in vegetative propagation.
- These structures can store foods.
- Moreover, they have nodes and internodes.
- They give rise to a new plant.
What is the Difference Between Rhizome and Stolon?
The rhizome is a part of the main stem that grows horizontally or in other directions underground. In contrast, the stolon is an offshoot sprouted from the stem that runs horizontally on the soil surface or just below the soil surface. So, this is the key difference between rhizome and stolon. Structurally, the rhizome is thick and short while stolon is thin and long. Furthermore, rhizome grows slowly while stolon grows fast.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between rhizome and stolon.
Summary – Rhizome vs Stolon
Rhizome and stolon are two plant parts used in vegetative reproduction. The rhizome is the main stem that grows underground horizontally or in other directions. In contrast, stolon is a runner sprouted from the existing stem that runs horizontally on the soil. Both have nodes and internodes. But, rhizome can give rise to both shoots and roots. Also, both can store foods. However, the rhizome has a greater storage capacity while stolon has comparatively low storage capacity. So, this summarizes the difference between rhizome and stolon.
1.“Stolon.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2019, Available here.
2.“Rhizomes and Stolons.” Forage Information System, 25 July 2018, Available here.
1. “Bamboo with rhizome 1” By XIIIfromTOKYO – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Spider plant stolon2” By Eptalon – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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