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Asexual reproduction in plants

Asexual reproduction is the formation of a new individual from a previous individual. Only a single individual is involved and there is no exchange of genetic material with another individual, so the new plant is genetically identical to its parent.

There are several types of asexual reproduction in plants:

Reproducción asexual de las plantas

Asexual reproduction by budding or vegetative multiplication

In the root , leaves or stems , a group of cells (buds) are formed that break off and give rise to a new plant:


The new plants appear from aerial stems parallel to the  ground (stolons) at the end of which there is a bud that gives rise to another plant. For example, clover or strawberry.


By RoRo [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons


In a similar way to the stolons, the rhizomes are underground stems that grow horizontally and have several buds from which roots and vertical stems emerge from their nodes that originate new plants.For example, a plant that reproduces by rhizomes is the reed.


By Jens Rusch [CC BY-SA 3.0 de, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons


The tubers are modified and thickened stems in which the reserve nutrients for the plant accumulate. Buds sprout from them that give rise to new plants. For example, the potato. If the potato is broken into pieces, with buds, they are sown and new plants emerge.

La cebolla se reproduce asexualmente mediante bulbos

The onion reproduces by means of bulbs

Asexual reproduction by fragmentation

Asexual reproduction is also used to obtain new plants artificially. Some of these forms of asexual reproduction are:


cutting is a fragment of the stem of a plant that is cut and buried (or left in water until it has roots ) from which a new plant emerges. This technique is widely used in gardening, such as with geraniums or vines.

Esqueje de ficus echando raíces un un bote de cristal

By Biusch [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons


Another form of asexual reproduction is by layering. A branch is introduced, without cutting it, underground, and from the knots that remain buried, roots emerge that will give rise to new individuals. For example, in the vine.


By Pearson Scott Foresman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


graft is the introduction of a fragment of the stem of a plant into the stem of another plant (of the same or another species). The two stems are united and grow as a single organism.

Injertando en un cerezo

By Calyponte [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Asexual reproduction by spores

Mosses and ferns reproduce by spores, although they alternate with sexual reproduction. Spores are cells formed in organs called sporangia from which the new plant will emerge.

Soros en el envés de los frondes de un helecho

Helechos en Ezcaray (La Rioja)