INTRO TO CAUDICIFORMS   


Caudiciforms are an unscientific collection, across divisions, orders and families. A common denominator is the perennial swollen caudex/bulb/stem/rhizome or similar.

I have members of: Lily-, century-, yam-, dogbane-, milkweed-, madder-, morning glory-, cactus-, purslane-, kapok-tree-, cacao-, primrose-, primula-, cucumber-, passion-flower-, mulberry-, moonseed-, spurge-, grape- and many other families. Everything from giant trees to small herbs.

For most of the species, the caudex is a water-reservoir for a dry period. One of them has a hollow caudex, in which ants live. In return for this home, they protect it from other insects.

Some of the plants lose their branches and vines, when they dry out, leaving only the caudex and the bigger roots. This reduces evaporation. Others will (in nature) grow larger and larger, and only flower after many years.

Some of my plants are dioecious, which means; there are different male- and female plants. Others are monoecious; both male- and female flowers on the same plant. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessary mean they can self-pollinate.

Luckily, it is possible to make cuttings of many of them. But, the cuttings don't necessarily form a caudex.

Some caudexes lay deep down in the ground, protected from extreme weather conditions and animals.  Some of these won't stand to be exposed, and don't seems so interesting to me. Others are partly exposed, and finally those which are fully exposed. That can be a result of habitat: bare rocks with small cracks, leaving no room for a caudex.

Some of the caudiciforms are used as a crop around  the world, for instance the yam. Others are highly poisonous, as a natural result of living in hostile environments, where every leaf is valuable for both animals and plants.

The  SLIDE-SHOW    will give a  fast review of my caudiciforms.

 

Kedrostis africana
Stephania venosa