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 on a plant.
I have found members of so many families across the entire Kingdom of Plantae. Everything from giant trees to small herbs. For most of the species, the caudex is a water-reservoir for a dry period. Some of them has a hollow caudex, in which ants live. In return for this home, they protect it from other insects.
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 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. Much more about that on this page.
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.