Root system

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The sweetpotato root system consists of fibrous roots - that absorb nutrients and water and anchor the plant - and storage roots - which are lateral roots that store photosynthetic products.

The root system of sweetpotato plants obtained by vegetative propagation starts with adventitious roots that develop into primary fibrous roots which branch into lateral roots.  As the plant matures, thick pencil roots that become lignified are produced.  Other roots  without lignin, are fleshy and bulky, and are called storage roots.

Plants grown from true seed form a typical root system with a central axle with lateral branches.  Later on, the central axle functions as a storage root.

Source: Huaman, Z. Systemic botany and morphology of the sweetpotato plant. Technical Information Bulletin 25. International Potato Centre, Lima, Peru. 22 p.

Growth habit




Fruit and seeds

Storage root

Stages of plant development

Parts of the sweetpotato rootsystem (Z. Huaman).