Difference Between in Biology

Difference Between Herbs And Shrubs

Difference Between Herbs And Shrubs

Herbs and shrubs are two types of plants. The main difference is based on the size and the branching pattern of each plant. The herbs have non-lignified, unbranched, and soft stems whereas shrubs have multi stems, woody, branched. Herbs and shrubs have various species. The herbs consist of four groups while shrubs have three groups. The microscopical difference can be observed in the stratum layers. The factors like soil moisture, soil organic matter, PH, soil moisture content, and potassium are responsible for the ecological differences. These factors conclude that herbs were less than that of the shrubs. Let us understand more key difference between herbs and shrubs.

Difference Between Herbs And Shrubs

Character Herbs Shrubs
Definition Herbs are defined as seed-producing, annual, non-woody plants. They are also known as rootstock.  Shrubs are defined as woody plants that contain several main stems arising near the ground. They are also known as woody plants.
Stem They have non-woody, soft stems.  They have thick but not so hard woody stems.
Branching The stems of herbs do not have branches. Shrubs have branches at their bases.
Height Herbs are short in size. Shrubs are comparatively taller than herbs.
Life cycle The life cycle of herbs can be annual, biennial, or perennials. The life cycle of shrubs is mainly perennials.
Importance Herbs are specially used to add flavor to food and provide medicines. Shrubs carry medicinal value and can be used in gardening.
Tissues Herbs have delicate and thin tissues. Shrubs have strong and woody tissues.
Branches Herbs do not have any branches. It consists of a single stem. Shrubs have branches at their base. It consists of multiple branches.
Uproot It can be easily uprooted. It cannot be easily uprooted.
Examples Wheat, Rice, Onion, Grass. Rose, Orange, Peach, Lavender.


Herbs are specially used for medicinal purposes. They are mostly known for their pleasant and amazing fragrance. This makes it valuable for medicinal purposes. The examples of herbs are rosemary, Banana, basil, Tulsi, lettuce, and coriander. It can be grown in beds and borders, containers.

The growth of herbs is depended on factors like history of flora, differences in climate, the role of fire, disturbances caused by man. Herbs grow best beneath the shrub’s canopy. They are mostly annual species. There are about 50 to 150 herbs and shrubs seen in the Ocimum genus variety.


Shrubs are woody plants less than 13 feet in height. It contains several main stems with a diameter of around 3 inches arising near the ground. The area of the garden cultivated by shrubs is known as Shrubbery.

The example of Shrubs are Witch hazel, oakleaf hydrangea, red twig dogwood, King’s Gold and Gold Mops, hibiscus, roses, forsythia, lilacs, holly, rose of Sharon, Fothergilla, and Stewartstonian azalea.

A shrub consists of many stems and may grow about five to six meters in height. They can be evergreen or deciduous. Shrubs can be grown either in parks or gardens, such places are referred to as a shrubbery. Shrubs can be evergreen or deciduous.

The shrub has small branches with leaves on them and these branches grow close to each other. Shrubs are taller than herbs. Few examples of Shrubs are rose and lemon. If the shrubs are small, then they are said to be sub-shrubs. These sub-shrubs include thyme, thyme, periwinkle, and lavender.

Shrubs have many stems whereas herbs have a single stem. Shrubs are also known as woody plants. The branches of the shrubs come out from a single base whereas herbs have just one permanent stem, which is referred to as rootstock. Due to the lack of shoots, herbs have very few chances of growing taller. The herbs are grown only in few inches and sometimes it may go a little taller while shrubs grow to about 5-6 meters tall.

Similarities Between Herbs And Shrubs

The herbs and shrubs belong to the kingdom of Plantae. The bodies are differentiated into the stem, root, and leaves. They are said to be the vascular plants. Herbs as well as shrubs are flowering plants and both of them produce seeds.


Herbs are the smallest, non-woody, and shrubs are taller, than herbs and contain branches at their bases. Both are types of plants that grow on the earth. The main difference between herbs and shrubs is the type of stems in each type of plant. They are known as vascular plants.

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

3 responses to “Difference Between Bryophytes And Pteridophytes”

  1. Galadima says:

    thanks for in lighting us

  2. Olatunji Akinola says:

    Thanks for lighting me more this aspect

  3. Nneka chinedu says:

    Thanks for enlightening me more on this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

No thanks.