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Can a Vegetable Grow on a Tree

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Whether you call them vegetables or you call them veggies, you certainly can’t deny the health benefits of plant-based foods.

Vegetables can be ambiguous, though. It can be hard to tell what is and isn’t a vegetable.

This article will try to define vegetables and strip them of their usual ambiguity.

Paper bag filled with different vegetables food on wooden background

Vegetables are basically the edible parts of a plant, excluding seeds and fruits.

In essence, plant matter like onions, potatoes, lettuce, and cabbage are vegetables.

However, some fruits like tomatoes and eggplants are sometimes referred to as vegetables in the culinary world but they are not technically vegetables.

Can a vegetable grow on a tree?

It is possible for a vegetable to grow on a tree but more times than not, vegetables do not grow on trees.

The most common household vegetables such as onions, potatoes, lettuces, and cabbage do not grow on trees.

But there are some vegetables like moringa leaves and mulberry leaves, which are not as common that do grow on trees.

There is much more to this question. Let’s get more in depth about the growth of vegetables on trees.

Can a Vegetable Grow on a Tree?

Going by our definition of , the first items that come to your mind when you think of vegetables will most likely not grow on trees.

You would most likely think of plants like cabbage, spinach, celery, onions, and garlic – they all do not grow on trees.

Cabbage, for instance, is the stem of an herbaceous plant, not a tree.

Onions are modified leaves of an herbaceous plant, and similarly, spinach leaves are gotten from an herbaceous plant.

Cute toddler helps mom in planting vegetables in greenhouse

But does this mean that all vegetables come from herbaceous plants? Does this mean they do not grow on trees? No, it does not.

There are some uncommon vegetables that actually grow on trees.

Moringa leaves, hibiscus flowers, mulberry leaves, pineapple guava leaves, and linden leaves are a few examples.

All of the leaves and flowers mentioned above grow on trees, and they are edible too.

While leaves from trees are typically chewy and toxic, you’ll find that those above are some exceptions.

Besides the tree leaves mentioned above, there’s another substance that grows on trees and is considered a vegetable.

This substance is a mushroom.

Mushrooms grow on trees, soil, and woodpiles.

Whenever mushrooms grow on a tree, such a tree most likely has a fungal infection. In effect, mushrooms come from fungi, not plants.

So, why are mushrooms considered vegetables when they come from fungi?

Why Mushrooms Are Considered Vegetables

Our earlier definition of vegetables still stands. So, fundamentally, mushrooms are not vegetables.

However, you will find that they are regarded as vegetables, even by the U.S Department of Agriculture. But why?

Well, it turns out that mushrooms are considered vegetables because they provide similar nutrients as actual vegetables.

Fresh mushrooms champignon mushrooms on wooden round chopboard on wooden table

Besides this, mushrooms are used for similar culinary purposes as actual veggies. They are also usually cooked like vegetables.

Why Do Fruits Grow on Trees but Not Vegetables?

The first thing we should state here is that not all fruits grow on trees.

Some fruits like watermelons, pineapples, and strawberries do not grow on trees.

Watermelons grow from vines, while pineapples and strawberries grow from herbs. But more times than not, fruits grow on trees.

Following our discussion thus far, you may have deciphered that vegetables rarely grow on trees. But why is this the case?

First, let’s briefly talk about why trees are the way they are.

The structure of trees is an adaptation. Trees have evolved over time from lycophytes, horsetails, and ferns to their current, taller form.

One reason trees have become taller is that their towering heights afford them more access to sunlight.

Fruits trees need at least 6 hours of sunlight when they are actively growing.

This helps ensure that the fruits they produce are of high-quality and flavorful.

On the other hand, many vegetables can thrive in partial shade (4-6 hours of sunlight).

Some vegetables that fall in this category include broccoli, onions, carrots, coriander, and cauliflower.

You will also find that some other vegetables need only about 2-4 hours of sunlight.

They are called light-shade vegetables, and they include kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, and arugula.

Going by the premises above, fruits may grow on trees more than vegetables because they typically need more sunlight.

13 Vegetables That Can Be Grown Vertically

Basket with different fresh raw organic vegeables on garden background

Vertical gardening is perhaps one of the best gardening designs that ever happened to our environment.

It comes with many undeniable benefits. For one, you can do more in less space through vertical gardening.

Besides maximizing space, vertical gardens also improve air quality, beautify the environment, and reduce carbon footprint.

So, if you plan to grow some vegetables vertically, we are rooting for you – no pun intended.

The following are some vegetables that you can plant in a vertical garden:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Basil
  • Jicama
  • Potato

Final Take

Most of the common vegetables come from herbs, not trees. But this is not to say some vegetables do not grow on trees.

Vegetables like moringa leaves and pineapple guava leaves grow on trees.

But vegetables like onions, lettuce, and cabbage, which are common, grow on herbs.


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