Shrub vs. Herb

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Shrub and Herb is that the Shrub is a type of plant and Herb is a plant used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume.

  • Shrub

    A shrub or bush is a small- to medium-sized woody plant. Unlike herbs, shrubs have persistent woody stems above the ground. They are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height, and are usually under 6 m (20 ft) tall. Plants of many species may grow either into shrubs or trees, depending on their growing conditions. Small, low shrubs, generally less than 2 m (6.6 ft) tall, such as lavender, periwinkle and most small garden varieties of rose, are often termed “subshrubs”.

  • Herb

    In general use, herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring and garnishing food, medicinal purposes, or for fragrances; excluding vegetables and other plants consumed for macronutrients. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs generally refers to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are usually dried and produced from other parts of the plant, including seeds, bark, roots and fruits.

    Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases, spiritual. General usage of the term “herb” differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs; in medicinal or spiritual use, any parts of the plant might be considered as “herbs”, including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), resin and pericarp.

    The word “herb” is pronounced in Commonwealth English, but is common among North American English speakers and those from other regions where h-dropping occurs. In botany, the word “herb” is used as a synonym for “herbaceous plant”.

  • Shrub (noun)

    A woody plant smaller than a tree, and usually with several stems from the same base.

  • Shrub (noun)

    A liquor composed of vegetable acid, fruit juice (especially lemon), sugar, sometimes vinegar, and a small amount of spirit as a preservative. Modern shrub is usually non-alcoholic, but in earlier times it was often mixed with a substantial amount of spirit such as brandy or rum, thus making it a liqueur.

  • Shrub (verb)

    To lop; to prune.

  • Shrub (verb)

    To mispronounce a word by replacing its consonant sound(s) with another or others of a similar place of articulation.

    “For example, IPAchar|/ʃɹʌb/|lang=en → IPAchar|/sɹʌb/|lang=en”

  • Herb (noun)

    Any flavour or season food.

  • Herb (noun)

    A plant whose roots, leaves or seeds, etc. are used in medicine.

    “If any medicinal herbs used by witches were supposedly evil, then how come people from at least the past benefited from the healing properties of such herbs?”

  • Herb (noun)


  • Herb (noun)

    A plant whose stem is not woody and does not persist beyond each growing season

  • Herb (noun)

    Grass; herbage.


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