AskDefine | Define geophyte

Dictionary Definition

geophyte n : a perennial plant that propagates by underground bulbs or tubers or corms

User Contributed Dictionary



geo- + -phyte


  1. A perennial plant, for example the potato or daffodil, which in spring propagates from an underground organ such as a bulb, tuber, corm or rhizome.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

A storage organ is a part of a plant specifically modified for storage of energy (generally in the form of carbohydrates) or water. Storage organs often grow underground, where they are better protected from attack by herbivores. Underground storage organs and the plants that bear them are sometimes called geophytes.
In common parlance, underground storage organs may be generically called roots, tubers, or bulbs, but to the botanist these are specific, technical terms, which apply only more narrowly:
Storage organs used for food may be generically called root vegetables, although this phrase should not be taken to imply that the class only includes true roots.
geophyte in Esperanto: Rezervaĵa organo
geophyte in Hebrew: גאופיט
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