Photo by Melody

Definition of caudiciform

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by palmbob:

These are usually succulent, often deciduous (but not always) plants with thickend, woody stems/roots (either above ground or just below ground). The succulent varieties (non-cycad/palm/fern) plants are also referred to, by collectors, as 'fat plants'. Generally these are slow growing plants often collected and displayed for their unusual caudeces. For display purposes, the caudex is always partially above ground (even though the 'natural state night be to exist below the surface) for ornamental reasons. Most caudiform plants have relatively small roots (as most of the energy and water is stored in the caudex) and perform well as bonsais and in small pots. Some of these 'fat plants' are extremely expensive and highly sought after. There is even a website devoted to caudiciform plants (see Fatplants on the web). There are many representives from many different genera, often totally unrelated, in this 'category' of plant, from Euphorbias to Morning Glories to minature succulent trees.

Note that many purists would not include any of the bulbs as caudiciforms though some web sites and many caudiciform collectors do. Many xeriphytic bulbs can be raised and grown above ground as specimens in pots and shown along with other true caudiciforms... they LOOK like caudiciforms displayed this way, but their 'caudex' is actually a bulb made up of developing leaf and other plant material.

Definition as written by JaxFlaGardener:

Examples of caudiciform plants might include Jatropha podagrica ("Buddha Belly Plant")

Beaucarnea recurvata ("Pony Tail Palm")

and the various "Elephant's Foot Plants" of Dioscorea sp.

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