Vegetable Classification

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.

View the vegetable classification poster here.



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



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) 



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)



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



The edible leaves of plants.


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



Usually a long or round-shaped taproot.


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



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


bean (green, French, butter, snake), broad bean, pea, snow pea, sweet corn



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


asparagus, celery, kohlrabi



Vegetables which grow underground on the root of a plant.


earth gem, Jerusalem artichoke, kÅ«mara, potato, yam