Vegetable classifications

Vegetables are classified according to which part of the plant is eaten. Some vegetables fit into more than one category when several different parts of the plant are edible, e.g. both the roots and leaves of beetroot can be eaten.

 

Bulbs

 

Usually grow just below the surface of the ground and produce a fleshy, leafy shoot above ground. Bulbs usually consist of layers, or clustered segments.

 

e.g. fennel, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, spring onion

Flowers

 

The edible flowers of certain vegetables.

 

e.g. artichoke (globe), broccoflower, cauliflower, broccoli, choi sum, courgette or other squash flowers, gai  lan (Chinese sprouting broccoli) 

Fruits

 

Vegetable fruit are fleshy and contain seeds.

 

e.g. bitter melon, capsicum, chilli, choko, courgette, cucumber, eggplant, fuzzy melon, Indian marrow, marrow, plantain, pumpkin and squash, scallopini, tindora, tomatillo, tomato, turia (ribbed gourd)

Fungi

 

When referring to vegetables, fungi are commonly known as mushrooms.

 

button white, Swiss brown, cup (opened not flat), enoki, oyster, Portabello (brown flat or cup), shiitake, truffle - black and white

Leaves

 

The edible leaves of plants.

 

bok choy, Brussels sprout, cabbage, lettuce, ong choi, puha, radicchio, silverbeet, sorrel, spinach, tat soi, tung ho, watercress, witloof, wong nga baak (Peking cabbage)

Roots

 

Usually a long or round-shaped taproot.

 

beetroot, carrot, celeriac, daikon, parsnip, radish, swede, turnip

Seeds

 

(Legumes) apart from sweetcorn, seeds grow in pods which are sometimes eaten along with the seed.

 

bean (green, French, butter, snake), broad bean, pea, snow pea, sweetcorn

Stems

 

The edible stalks of plants when the stalk is the main part of the vegetable.

 

asparagus, celery, kohlrabi

Tubers

 

Vegetables which grow underground on the root of a plant.

 

earth gem, Jerusalem artichoke, kumara, potato, yam

 




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