Last updated: November 25, 2019

What Does Stalk Mean?

In botany, the stalk refers to the main stem of a plant that supports the fruit, flower, or leaf. Stalks rise directly from the root and are apart of the plant’s shoot system. With a phototropic response, stalks are also used for vegetative or asexual plant propagation. Plant stalks are crucial in transporting fluids between the shoots and roots.


Maximum Yield Explains Stalk

Growing away from the soil, stalks are categorized into three different types:

  • Underground stalks: These stalks are primarily for storage and perennation. In some plants, the underground stalks produce in yearly aerial shoots. While these stalks may look like roots, they distinguish themselves from the root system due to the presence of buds and scale leaves at the plant’s nodes. In some cases, underground stalks are used for vegetative propagation.
  • Subaerial stalks: Subaerial stalks tend to grow out in lateral and shorter branches. In some climber plants, subaerial stalks tend to be spirally coiled and leafless. Also known as runners, these stalks have been known to develop both leaves and roots right from their nodes. They are commonly used during asexual propagation.
  • Aerial stalks: Aerial stalks can grow in different directions and perform various functions, including vegetative propagation, plant protection, climbing, and food synthesis. In smaller and weaker plants, aerial stalks are coiled and wiry.

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