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!
Kris Timken / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Does the tomato grow below ground or above the 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.
aluxum / E+ / Getty Images
Do you know if carrots grow underground or not?
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.
Nenov / Moment Open / Getty Images
Where do jalapenos grow, in or out of the 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.
Hiroshi Higuchi / Stockbyte / Getty Images
Is ginger a food that grows on the surface or 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.
Amelia Kay Photography / Moment / Getty Images
Does the food that we get from orange trees grow above or below 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.
Diana Miller / Cultura / Getty Images
Do you know if cabbage grows above the soil's surface?
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).
Roy Morsch / Corbis / Getty Images
Above the ground or below, where do turnips grow?
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.
tetsuomorita / E+ / Getty Images
Can you tell if watermelon grows underground or out of the soil?
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.
photograph by dorisj / Moment / Getty Images
Does cassava grow in the soil or above the surface?
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.
Kidsada Manchinda / Moment / Getty Images
Do you know if coffee grows underground or not?
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.
istetiana / Moment / Getty Images
Where does beetroot grow, above the surface or underground?
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.
RUNSTUDIO / Moment / Getty Images
Is the calabash a food that grows above ground level?
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.
Shawna Lemay / Moment / Getty Images
Does the food that we get from radish plants grow above or 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.
Wiki Commons by Spencer
Do you know if bush carrots are subterranean or not?
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.
kuangLiu / Moment / Getty Images
Above ground or below ground, where does maize grow?
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).
Wiki Commons by Ralf Steinberger
Can you tell if ackee grows underground or 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.
Stefanie Grewel / Cultura / Getty Images
Do onions grow above ground level or below?
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.
Claudia Totir / Moment / Getty Images
Do you know if cantaloupes grow underground or not?
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.
Emilija Manevska / Moment Open / Getty Images
Where do bananas grow, below or 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.
Wiki Commons by Suedpfalz
Is the yacón one of those foods that grow above the 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.
Claire Plumridge / Moment Open / Getty Images
Do you know if the scotch bonnet pepper grows above or below the soil?
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).
Francesco Carta fotografo / Moment / Getty Images
Does the food that we get from peanut plants grow above or 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.
sf_foodphoto / E+ / Getty Images
Subterranean or not, how does kale grow?
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.
Giulia Fiori Photography / Moment / Getty Images
Can you tell if potatoes grow underground or above 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).
Blanchi Costela / Moment / Getty Images
Does quinoa grow below ground level or out of the soil?
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.
Francesco Carta fotografo / Moment / Getty Images
Do you know if garlic grows underground or not?
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%).
A. Panagiotopoulou / Moment / Getty Images
Where do pumpkins grow, above the soil surface or below?
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.
Wiki Commons by Fibonacci
Is arracacha a subterranean food?
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.
Jennifer A Smith / Moment / Getty Images
Does the food that we get from bok choy plants grow above or below 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.
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.
Floortje / E+ / Getty Images
Above ground or below ground, where does sweet potato grow?
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).
kaanates / E+ / Getty Images
Can you tell if lettuce is a subterranean food?
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.
Priscila Zambotto / Moment Open / Getty Images
Does yam grow in the soil or above 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.
Calvert Byam / Moment / Getty Images
Do you know if spinach grows underground or not?
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.
Image Source / Image Source / Getty Images
Where does daikon grow, in the soil or above the 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.
Fadil Aziz / Corbis / Getty Images
Is breadfruit a food that grows above or below 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.
Diana Miller / Cultura / Getty Images
Does the food that we get from pea plants grow above or below 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.
Wiki Commons by PookieFugglestein
Do you know if pignuts are subterranean?
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.
Photo by Cathy Scola / Moment / Getty Images
Above ground or below ground, where does eggplant grow?
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.
EasyBuy4u / E+ / Getty Images
Can you tell if cucumbers grow underground or above the surface?
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.
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By
clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
years old or over.