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Bulbs are underground plant structures that contain the necessary nutrients and growing materials for the plant to produce leaves, stems, and flowers. Bulbs are classified as either true bulbs, corms, rhizomes, or tubers, depending on their structure and method of reproduction.
True bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, consist of a compressed stem surrounded by layers of modified leaves. Corms, such as crocuses and gladioli, are solid, swollen stem bases that produce new plants on top of the old corm. Rhizomes, such as irises and lilies, are horizontal underground stems that produce new plants along their length.
Tubers, such as dahlias and caladiums, are thickened, modified underground stems that produce new plants from buds on their surface. They are easy to plant and care for, and they can add color and interest to gardens and landscapes. They are typically planted in the fall and will emerge in the spring, producing leaves, stems, and flowers.