What's a bulb?

A flower bulb is really an underground storehouse and flower factory. There are many different types of 'bulb's, some being "true" bulbs like those of tulips or hyacinths.

Tulip Bulb

Tulip Bulb

Crocuses and gladioli, for example, are corms. They are generally flatter in shape than round, true bulbs.

Gladiolus Bulb

Gladiolus Corn

Dahlias and begonias are tubers

Dahlia Tuber

Dahlia Tuber

Finally, there are rhizomatic plants such as bearded irises. Their rhizome (or root) has a swollen root that grows horizontally in the soil.

Iris Rhizome

Iris Rhizome

As opposed to bulbs and corns, tubers and roots have no protective tunic.