Do These Foods Grow Above or Below the Ground?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

Do These Foods Grow Above or Below the Ground?
Image: Charlene Collins / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Don't let this quiz uproot your concentration!

Agriculture is quite possibly the most important industry in the world. This statement holds a considerable amount of weight since without the agriculture industry, we would be left without food. The food in our cupboards, the cans and snacks that line the shelves of the local supermarket, and the produce that is on display at the market would all disappear if the global agriculture industry came to a screeching halt. While livestock is an important part of this industry (could breakfast even exist without staples like milk and eggs?), plants are a huge part of agriculture; whether it's food for human consumption or the livestock mentioned above.

Plants that we as humans have domesticated over the years come in all shapes and sizes. These range from towering trees that grow brightly colored fruits to hardy low-lying plants that bury their foodstuffs beneath the earth. In this quiz, we've taken a handful of edible plants and divided them up into two groups: those that grow below ground and those that grow above ground. Will the correct answer sprout right before you? Let's get started and find out!

3 Jalapeno GettyImages-497538497 Where do jalapenos grow, in or out of the ground?
Above ground
The jalapeno is a type of mild chili pepper (compared to other chili peppers) that is popular in the Americas. It initially originated in Mexico and is notable for being the state pepper of Texas.
Below ground

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5 oranges GettyImages-153166394 Does the food that we get from orange trees grow above or below ground?
Above ground
The orange is a citrus fruit that is actually a hybrid between the mandarin and the pomelo. The three largest producers of oranges in the world are Brazil, China and India.
Below ground

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7 turnips GettyImages-522162442 Above the ground or below, where do turnips grow?
Above ground
Below ground
Also known as the white turnip, this root vegetable is grown widely across the world, particularly in temperate regions. While it is cooked in a lot of dishes, it actually has a history of also being grown as food for livestock.

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6 cabbage GettyImages-683732681 Do you know if cabbage grows above the soil's surface?
Above ground
The cabbage is a leafy plant (usually green) that is cultivated as a vegetable crop. The leafy heads usually range anywhere between 1 and 9 lb.; however, the heaviest cabbage in the world was recorded as being 138.25 lb. (62.71 kg).
Below ground

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10 coffee GettyImages-609871870 Do you know if coffee grows underground or not?
Above ground
Coffee is a grouping of plants grown for their seeds (referred to as beans) that are used to make coffee products (beverages, foods, etc.) It is notable for being one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.
Below ground

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2 carrots GettyImages-185220848 Do you know if carrots grow underground or not?
Above ground
Below ground
The carrot is a species of plant that is classified as a root vegetable. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked, and they but are often used in soups, stews, salads, and countless other other types of dishes around the world.

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9 cassava GettyImages-829280492 Does cassava grow in the soil or above the surface?
Above ground
Below ground
The cassava is a species of woody shrub that is grown for its starchy tuberous root. It is known by several other names, including yucca, manioc, mandioca, macaxeira and aipim.

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11 beets GettyImages-684252498 Where does beetroot grow, above the surface or underground?
Above ground
Below ground
The term beetroot specifically refers to the taproot section of the beet plant. It is also used to create red food coloring and has medicinal uses as well, being one of the few sources of naturally occurring adipic acid.

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12 calabash GettyImages-889592870 Is the calabash a food that grows above ground level?
Above ground
The calabash is a species of vine harvested for its fruit; it is also known as the bottle-gourd and white-flowered gourd. It is notable for being one of the first plants in recorded history grown primarily for its use as a container and not as food.
Below ground

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15 maize GettyImages-927031882 Above ground or below ground, where does maize grow?
Above ground
Maize is a species of plant that is also simply referred to as corn. It was first domesticated by the original native people of Mexico and today, in terms of overall quantity, it is the second most produced crop in the world (behind sugarcane and above rice and wheat).
Below ground

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1 tomato GettyImages-200264000-001 Does the tomato grow below ground or above the ground?
Above ground
The tomato plant is a species of flowering plant that actually belongs to the nightshade family. The berry that the plant produces is a popular culinary ingredient worldwide; originating in South America, it now has relatively large scale production on every continent except Antarctica.
Below ground

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18 canteloupe GettyImages-641962386 Do you know if cantaloupes grow underground or not?
Above ground
The cantaloupe is a species of plant that belongs to the gourd family, along with other melons, pumpkins, cucumbers and more. Cultivation is spread all over the world; however, China is responsible for producing approximately half of the cantaloupes in the world.
Below ground

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19 bananas GettyImages-688863401 Where do bananas grow, below or above ground?
Above ground
The banana is a fruit that grows above ground and can either be eaten raw or cooked in a wide variety of dishes. A lesser known fact about this fruit is that it is actually scientifically classified as a berry.
Below ground

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20 Yacon Is the yacón one of those foods that grow above the ground?
Above ground
Below ground
The yacón is a species of plant that primarily grows in South America, with its tuberous root being used a source of food. It actually belongs to the family Asteraceae, meaning that it is actually a daisy.

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8 watermelon GettyImages-173255357 Can you tell if watermelon grows underground or out of the soil?
Above ground
Watermelon is the name that is given to both the flowering plant and the large fruit that it produces. The plant is notably vine-like and actually originated in the northeastern reaches of Africa.
Below ground

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13 radish GettyImages-129352184 Does the food that we get from radish plants grow above or below ground?
Above ground
Below ground
The radish is a root vegetable that is oftentimes eaten raw but it is also cooked in a wide variety of dishes. It was first domesticated in parts of Europe and comes in a diverse selection of variety, which differ in size, color and flavor.

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4 ginger GettyImages-159087178 Is ginger a food that grows on the surface or below ground?
Above ground
Below ground
Ginger is the name given to the entire flowering plant and also the edible rhizome that it produces. It is often used as a spice but can also be used to flavor drinks, like the Indian tea, Masala chai, or in ginger beer and ginger ale.

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16 Ripe_ackee_fruit Can you tell if ackee grows underground or above ground?
Above ground
Ackee is the name given to the species of evergreen tree and the fruit that it produces. It has a prominent place in Caribbean cuisine; notably being the national fruit of Jamaica and a valued export from the country.
Below ground

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23 kale GettyImages-182668418 Subterranean or not, how does kale grow?
Above ground
The kale is a plant that belongs to the cabbage family; alongside cabbage (headed cabbage), cauliflower, broccoli and more. Earliest records show it originating around the eastern Mediterranean starting at around 2000 B.C.
Below ground

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17 onions GettyImages-149317176 Do onions grow above ground level or below?
Above ground
Below ground
The onion is a species of plant that has been domesticated and grown for over 7,000 years. It is closely related to garlic, Chinese onion, chive and leek.

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28 Arracacha Is arracacha a subterranean food?
Above ground
Below ground
The arracacha is a species of plant that is originally native to the Andes. It is grown for its starch taproot and is notably related to celery root and the carrot.

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21 GettyImages-543279345 Do you know if the scotch bonnet pepper grows above or below the soil?
Above ground
The scotch bonnet pepper is a type of chili pepper that is native to the Caribbean and Central America; it adds flavor to several regional dishes. It is regarded as being relatively hot, having a Scoville rating of anywhere between 100,000 to 350,000 SCU (comparatively, jalapenos rank between 3,500 to 8,000 SCU).
Below ground

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24 potatoes GettyImages-886955752 Can you tell if potatoes grow underground or above ground?
Above ground
Below ground
The potato plant is actually a species of perennial nightshade classified as Solanum tuberosum. The tuberous crop that it is grown for is notable for being the fourth-largest food crop in the world (after corn, wheat and rice).

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27 pumpkins GettyImages-85573092 Where do pumpkins grow, above the soil surface or below?
Above ground
The pumpkin is technically a cultivar, meaning that it belongs to the same species as various types of squash and the zucchini. It is one of the oldest domesticated plants and is native to North America.
Below ground

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32 lettuce GettyImages-153491286 Can you tell if lettuce is a subterranean food?
Above ground
Lettuce is a leaf vegetable that was first domesticated by the ancient Egyptians. It is a primary ingredient in salads, sandwiches and soups, and is one of the most widely produced vegetables.
Below ground

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29 bok choy GettyImages-697489900 Does the food that we get from bok choy plants grow above or below ground?
Above ground
Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage popular in Southeast Asia and southern China. Other common names for the plant include bok choi, pak choi, pak choy, Chinese mustard, Chinese chard and celery mustard.
Below ground

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31 sweet potato GettyImages-183303498 Above ground or below ground, where does sweet potato grow?
Above ground
Below ground
The sweet potato is a species of plant that is actually a member of the morning glory family. It is grown for its sweet-tasting tuberous root and is not closely related to the potato, only being in the same order (Solanales).

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30 jicama GettyImages-1023683066 Do you know if jicama grow in or out of the soil?
Above ground
Below ground
The name jicama refers to both the vine and its tuberous root that is used as a source of food. It is also known as the Mexican turnip or Mexican yam bean, and although it originated in Mexico, cultivation has since then spread to Asia.

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26 garlic GettyImages-945033326 Do you know if garlic grows underground or not?
Above ground
Below ground
Garlic is a species of plant that shares its genus (Allium) with other crops like the onion, leek, shallot and chive. China notably produces the vast majority of the world’s garlic, with approximately 80% of global production attributed to the country (India is a distant second with only 5%).

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33 yam GettyImages-453255159 Does yam grow in the soil or above ground?
Above ground
Below ground
Yam is a grouping of several species of plants that form edible starchy tubers. They are consumed globally (Eurasia, Africa, Americas, and Oceania) and are often used to make flour as well.

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14 Bush carrot Lavigeria_macrocarpa_MS_3433 Do you know if bush carrots are subterranean or not?
Above ground
Below ground
The bush carrot is a species of plant that also goes by the names Maloga bean, native bean, pencil yam and Ngarlajiyi. It has historically been a valuable food source for Aboriginal Australians.

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34 spinach GettyImages-120353471 Do you know if spinach grows underground or not?
Above ground
Spinach is a species of flowering plant cultivated for its edible leaves. Its native region is located in Western Asia and Central Asia; and today, China is responsible for producing at least 90% of spinach in the world.
Below ground

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35 daikon GettyImages-88623952 Where does daikon grow, in the soil or above the ground?
Above ground
Below ground
Daikon is not a separate species but rather simply a cultivar of the winter radish. It is native to East Asia as well as parts of Southeast Asia, and these are the areas where it is primarily consumed.

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37 peas GettyImages-585288151 Does the food that we get from pea plants grow above or below ground?
Above ground
The word “pea” can refer to the entire plant itself, the pods that it produces and more often than not, the individual small round seeds in these pods. It has historically been an essential source of food and was thought to be domesticated first in the Mediterranean region.
Below ground

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36 breadfruit GettyImages-521366716 Is breadfruit a food that grows above or below ground?
Above ground
The breadfruit tree is a flowering tree species that is notably related to the jackfruit tree and mulberry tree, being found in the same family. It originally originated in Oceania, but it has since then spread to Asia, Africa, South America, and most notably Central America and the Caribbean.
Below ground

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39 eggplant GettyImages-898393390 Above ground or below ground, where does eggplant grow?
Above ground
The eggplant is a species of plant that actually belongs to the nightshade family. It is cultivated for its edible fruit (usually purple) and is somewhat closely related to both the tomato and potato.
Below ground

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40 cucumber GettyImages-182832378 Can you tell if cucumbers grow underground or above the surface?
Above ground
The cucumber is a species of plant that is a part of the gourd family, alongside notable members like pumpkins and melons. Originally, the cucumber was native to South Asia, but cultivation has spread to several other regions and continents.
Below ground

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25 quinoa GettyImages-1069148994 Does quinoa grow below ground level or out of the soil?
Above ground
The quinoa is a species of flowering plant that is cultivated as a grain crop. Despite common misconceptions, it is not a grass, instead belonging to the amaranth family.
Below ground

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22 peanuts GettyImages-1084497544 Does the food that we get from peanut plants grow above or below ground?
Above ground
Below ground
The peanut plant is a species of legume cultivated for its beneficial edible seeds. It is notable for being one of the underground growing crops with the highest production volumes, with 40 to 50 tons produced annually.

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38 pignut_Hickory_nut Do you know if pignuts are subterranean?
Above ground
Below ground
The primary part of the pignut that is sought after is the chestnut shaped underground portion. The name comes from this shape and the fact that it is notably popular with pigs.

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