The main difference between stolon and rhizome is that stolon does not belong to the main stem of the plant whereas rhizome is a part that belongs to the main stem. Furthermore, a stolon is an underground connection between plants and it grows at or just below the soil surface while a rhizome is a root-like stem, which grows either horizontally or underground.
Stolon and rhizome are the parts that move away from the main plant. They are primarily involved in vegetative propagation. Both can act as storage parts of nutrients.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Stolon
– Definition, Structure, Function
2. What is a Rhizome
– Definition, Structure, Function
3. What are the Similarities Between Stolon and Rhizome
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Stolon and Rhizome
– Comparison of Key Differences
Adventitious Roots, Nodes, Rhizome, Runners, Stolon, Storage of Nutrients, Vegetative Propagation
What is a Stolon
The stolon is an offshoot arising from the main stem of the plants like grasses, strawberry, spider plant, and weeds. Unlike the main stem, stolon grows horizontally near the surface of the soil. Therefore, stolons are often called runners. Stolon contains both nodes and internodes from which the adventitious roots arise, giving rise to a new plant. This newly-emerging plant is called the daughter plant.
The main function of the stolon is to allow the survival of the plant during unfavourable conditions until the upcoming season.
What is a Rhizome
The rhizome is a part of the main stem of the plants like ginger, iris, Chinese lantern, bamboo, poison-oak, Bermuda grass, etc. Some rhizomes grow underground like in lotus while other grow horizontally like in turmeric. The root system of those plant arises from the rhizome.
Rhizomes also contain both nodes and internodes, which give rise to new plants. The emergence of new plants occurs under favourable conditions.
Similarities Between Stolon and Rhizome
- Stolon and rhizome are two integral part of the stem.
- Both contain nodes and internodes.
- Furthermore, they grow away from the plant, aiding vegetative reproduction.
- Also, they serve as storage parts of nutrients.
- Moreover, they help the plant to survive under unfavourable conditions.
Difference Between Stolon and Rhizome
A stolon refers to a creeping, horizontal plant stem or runner that takes root at points along its length to form new plants. Whereas, a rhizome refers to a continuously growing, horizontal or underground stem, which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.
Related to the Stem
The main difference between stolon and rhizome is that stolon is not a part of the main stem while rhizome is a part of the main stem of the plant.
Type of Growth
Stolon grows on soil or just below the soil surface while rhizome grows horizontally or underground. Hence, this is also a major difference between stolon and rhizome.
Thickness and Length
Moreover, another observable difference between stolon and rhizome is that the stolons are thin and long while rhizomes are thick and short.
Stolon does not give rise to roots while the root system of the plant arises from the rhizome. Thus, this is another difference between stolon and rhizome.
Type of Vegetative Propagation
Furthermore, adventitious roots and nodes occur at the end of the stolon while both roots and shoots arise from the nodes on the rhizome.
In addition, stolon spread faster while rhizomes grow slowly.
Grasses, weeds, strawberries, lily of the valley, etc. contain stolon while ginger, iris, canna lily, etc. contain rhizomes.
Stolon is a vegetative propagation method of plants. It sprouts from the main stem, but it does not belong to a part of the stem. It runs near the soil surface and gives rise to adventitious roots and nodes. On the other hand, rhizome is another type of vegetative propagation in plants. It is a part of the main stem and gives rise to roots. It is a major type of storage part in plants and its nodes give rise to new plants. Therefore, the main difference between stolon and rhizome is the relationship with the stem and the structure.
1. “Stolon.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 June 2018, Available Here
2. “Rhizome.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 June 2018, Available Here
1. “Figure 32 03 02” By CNX OpenStax (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Stem morphology type rhizome” By RoRo – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
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