A caudiciform is a plant with a swollen, water-storing stem or root/stem combina-tion called a caudex. A caudex is a type of thickened stem that is either underground or near ground level. It may be swollen for the purpose of water storage, especially in xerophytes.
Caudiciforms are an unscientific collection, crossing divi-sions, orders and families. There are over 100 genera of plants that have species that can at least loosely be described as caudiciforms.
The swollen root or stem is used for water or food storage, allowing the plant long periods of survival without water or other forms of nutrition. Not all caudiciforms fit easily into the category of cactus and succulents, but most do.
Tina Zucker grows and sells many beautiful species of caudiciform plants including those pictured. She will share her expertise and a few of her favorite plants at the August meeting. Tina and her husband Joe will also be hosting a Coffee in the Garden event at their home in Solana Beach on August 18th and 19th. See details on the right.
Photos (From top): Trichodiadema bulbosum, Pseudobombax elipticum