Taproot Vs Fibrous Root- Definition, 17 Differences, Examples

Taproot Vs Fibrous Root Overview

Taproot Definition

  • As the main root tapers towards the plant’s terminal, one of the two fundamental root systems, the taproot, develops branching of secondary as well as tertiary roots that point downward.
  • The majority of dicotyledonous plants have a root system called the taproot system. It may be identified by a major or prominent root.
  • During the germination of the seed, the radicle of the seed grows to become the major root.
  • The taproot that develops during the embryonic stage, however, is subsequently changed by a fibrous root in certain plants.
  • The radicle remains to develop as the main root forms lateral roots in certain plants having a prolonged tap root.
  • Conical, fusiform, as well as napiform roots are the most prevalent taproot shapes, but this depends on the plant.
  • The conical root is broadest at the top and gradually becomes narrower as it descends. Plants like carrots exhibit it.
  • The centre of the fusiform root is the broadest, while the top and bottom are tapered. It is present in radish-like plants.
  • The enormously broad top of napiform roots abruptly tapers into a tail at the bottom. Plants like a turnip exhibit it.
  • Subsidiary roots may develop from the main or major root that eventually splits off to create the tertiary root. Even the tertiary roots have the potential to be divided into rootlets.
  • The primary root now has more room to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, thanks to the division of the main root into extra branches.
  • Taproot may tie the plant more securely and tightly to the earth thanks to its capacity to spread out and cover more ground.
  • As it extends deep into the ground, the taproot may take up additional nutrients and minerals.
  • Some plants, like carrots, have modified taproots that are used to store nourishment and are later eaten as vegetables.
  • It is believed that the fibrous root gave rise to the taproot system throughout time.
  • In addition, reticulate venation is often seen in the leaves of plants having a taproot system.
  • Examples of plants with tap roots include carrots, mustard, radish, turnips, beets, parsley, coriander, and others.

Fibrous Root Definition

Fibrous roots, the second kind of root system, are thin, loosely branching roots that have no primary base and originate from the stem.

Fibrous roots are a feature of the majority of monocotyledonous plants, as well as other plants like ferns.

The fibrous root system is sometimes referred to as an adventitious root system, since it contains adventitious roots.

The fibrous root system starts off as a tap root in the radicle, but as the plant grows, the radicle degenerates and also no primary root can be seen.

The fibrous root emerges as a mat from the ground after the plant has reached full maturity.

While moving more horizontally than vertically, the roots of a fibrous root system are unable to delve farther into the earth.

Over 95 percent of the roots are located in the first 50 metres of the soil as they grow horizontally in all directions.

Fibrous roots, in contrast to tap roots, the absence of a primary root and division into secondary and tertiary roots. Instead, the stem gives way to a great number of roots that spread out in all directions.

Fibrous roots are classified as surface feeders, since they can never penetrate the soil deeply. Instead, they consume organic materials and dirt on the soil’s surface.

Additionally, unlike certain plants with a taproot system, fibrous roots are unable to serve as an organ for storing food.

The fibrous roots are thought to be important for preventing soil erosion because they retain the surface soil securely and are more fastened to the soil’s surface.

Additionally, they are much more effective in absorbing nutrients than the taproot system.

However, due to their smaller surface area and insufficient vertical depth, those roots may be incapable of withstanding dry conditions. Additionally, the existing roots are significantly shorter.

The taproot system is thought to have originated later in evolutionary history than the fibrous root system.

Typically, leaves with parallel venation are seen on plants with fibrous root systems.

Plants including grass, wheat, rice, maize, rosemary, coconut, and others have fibrous roots.

Key Differences (Taproot vs Fibrous Root)

Basis for Comparison Taproot Fibrous Root
Definition Taproot is one of the two essential root systems where the primary root gives out branches of secondary and tertiary roots growing downwards as the primary root tapers towards the end. The fibrous root is the other type of root system where the root develops from the stem in the form of thin and moderately branching roots without any primary root.
Evolution Taproot evolved from the fibrous root in the evolutionary process. The fibrous root system evolved before the taproot system.
Plants Taproot is observed in dicotyledonous plants. The fibrous root is observed in monocotyledonous plants.
Nature of the roots The roots in the taproot system are thicker than those in the fibrous root. The roots in the fibrous root system are thin and hair-like.
Number of roots A single plant only has one taproot. Plant with a fibrous root system might have multiple fibrous roots.
Position Taproots are always underground. Fibrous root might be underground or aerial.
Origin The Taproot system develops from the radicle of the embryo during germination. A fibrous root system develops from the stem tissue of the plant base.
Differentiation In the tap root system, the primary root differentiates into secondary and tertiary roots. All roots in a fibrous root system arise from the stem; thus, no differentiation is observed.
Food storage Some tap root like in radish and carrot act as storage for food. Fibrous roots do not store food.
Length Roots in the taproot system are longer. Roots in the fibrous root system are shorter.
Surface area The Taproot system occupies more surface area than the fibrous root. The fibrous root system occupies less surface area than taproot.
Growth in soil Taproot grows vertically downwards and thus reaches deep into the soil. The fibrous root grows horizontally in all directions and thus doesn’t reach deep into the soil.
Anchorage The Taproot system anchors the plant more firmly than the fibrous root. Fibrous root system anchors less efficient than taproot.
Absorption of water The absorption of water and minerals by taproot is more efficient with the taproot system. Fibrous root absorbs water more efficiently as it reaches deep into the soil.
Drought Taproots are capable of withstanding drought. The fibrous root cannot endure drought conditions.
Leaves Plants with a tap root system have leaves with reticulate venation. Plants with fibrous root systems have leaves with parallel venation.
Examples Some examples of plants that have a tap root system include carrot, mustard, radish, turnip, beetroot, parsley, coriander, etc. Some plants with fibrous root systems include grasses, wheat, rice, corn, rosemary, coconut, etc.

Examples of the taproot system


  • Despite the fact that there are various types with varied hues, the colour of carrots tends to be orange most of the time.
  • The carrot plant’s root system is a taproot, and the plant’s root functions as a vegetable.
  • The stem, which also splits into secondary and tertiary roots, is the source of the main root.
  • The carrot’s secondary and tertiary roots are visible throughout the vegetable as a thin, hair-like structure.
  • Conical root refers to the shape of the carrot’s root. It is widest at the apex and tapers gently toward the bottom.
  • A carrot is a necessary food since it includes 88 percent water in addition to other elements like proteins and carbs.


  • A blooming plant with a tap root system is mustard.
  • The main root, which runs parallel to the stem and is further split into secondary and tertiary roots, makes up the root system.
  • Because the mustard root develops vertically downward and has deep roots that penetrate deeply into the earth, it is often used to illustrate the fundamental idea of the taproot system.
  • A cool-season plant called mustard may grow up to one to two feet below the surface of the ground. As a result, the plant may access nutrients and water in the deeper layers of the soil.
  • Since it may be used as food, the mustard plant’s taproot is becoming more and more well-known.

Examples of the fibrous root system


  • With its fibrous roots, parallel venation in the leaves, and monocotyledonous seeds, maize is one of the most important plants.
  • In contrast to most plants, maize possesses a post-embryonic root system with shoot-borne roots known as nodal roots, as well as an embryonic root system with a main root, radicle, and seminal roots.
  • The embryonic root system grows from the embryo’s radicle, while the post-embryonic root system starts from the stem’s last nodes.
  • Aerial roots of the nodal roots are visible above the earth.
  • Both of these root structures are fibrous root structures with several roots coming from the same location that don’t branch out farther.
  • These branches are crucial because they guarantee that the plant will stay rooted in the ground even during heavy rain.


  • The roots of all grasses, which are gymnosperms, are fibrous and grow at equal lengths from the plant’s stem.
  • The plant is anchored to the earth by its subterranean roots, which also take up water and nutrients for the plant.
  • The roots are more or less the same length and extend horizontally in all directions.
  • Some grasses have stems that develop underneath the rhizomes that help them expand through the soil.
  • Because the roots are short and can only penetrate a shallow layer of soil, the thin and fibrous roots allow grasses to spread by stolons or rhizomes.

References and Sources

  • 2% – http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/difference-between-taproot-and-fibrous-root/
  • 1% – https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-tap-root-and-vs-fibrous-root/
  • 1% – https://studiousguy.com/fibrous-root-system-types-modifications-examples/
  • 1% – https://infogalactic.com/info/Taproot
  • 1% – https://gardenerdy.com/differences-between-taproot-fibrous-root-system/
  • 1% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibrous_root_system
  • 1% – https://biodifferences.com/difference-between-tap-root-and-fibrous-adventitious-root.html
  • <1% – https://zambrut.com/nutrients-carrot/
  • <1% – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhF2Ej2Euig
  • <1% – https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tap-root.htm
  • <1% – https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-fibrous-root.htm
  • <1% – https://www.siyavula.com/read/science/grade-10-lifesciences/support-and-transport-systems-in-plants/05-support-and-transport-systems-in-plants-02
  • <1% – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065211316300608
  • <1% – https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/494/fibrous-root
  • <1% – https://www.britannica.com/science/taproot
  • <1% – https://www.britannica.com/science/fibrous-root-system
  • <1% – https://www.aplustopper.com/main-functions-roots-plant/
  • <1% – https://www.answers.com/Q/What_part_of_a_plant_takes_in_water_and_nutrients
  • <1% – https://vivadifferences.com/understanding-taproot-vs-fibrous-root-14-differences-plus-examples/
  • <1% – https://quizlet.com/89536202/91-92-93-94-flash-cards/
  • <1% – https://quizlet.com/11632612/development-embryology-flash-cards/
  • <1% – https://qknowbooks.gitbooks.io/groups-of-plants/content/example_of_plants_with_taproot_systems_and_fibrous.html
  • <1% – https://homeguides.sfgate.com/shrubs-shallow-root-systems-29232.html
  • <1% – https://gardenbagan.com/plants-with-fibrous-roots-system-details/
  • <1% – https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/seedless-vascular-plants/
Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *