Plant Database forum: Geophytes - caudex

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Mar 31, 2017 12:53 PM CST
Today I was trying to sort out a couple of geophytes in the plant database. These are caudiciform succulents whose stem is buried, or mostly buried, as it grows... like Fockea, for example. Fat plants whose fat parts start out underground but are often lifted after several years for display in cultivation. The entire body of this plant was once underground.



The database options for roots would ideally include a caudex for these plants. Shown below are the only options I see at this point.

Rhizome
Taproot
Corm
Bulb
Tuber

I don't think any of them necessarily apply to these plants, whose fat underground structure is not a bulb, nor a food storage organ, but a water storage organ (specialized underground stem), with regular roots attached to it.

Would it be possible to add a caudex to the list of possibilities here? My knowledge of botanical terms is limited but I'm pretty sure that's a word most people would agree applies to these plants. I would appreciate correction if there's a better one. Thank You!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Apr 2, 2017 12:15 AM CST

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@dave, and/or @eclayne
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Apr 2, 2017 6:15 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thanks Baja, I've added Caudex to the list of options in the image upload. Thumbs up
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Apr 2, 2017 9:41 AM CST
Thank you, but I was looking for something different within the database itself (within the section "Underground Structures"), rather than an option to label the image upload. Actually I think putting "Caudex" within the image upload could be problematic because technically it's the same thing as "Stem", which already exists in that section. Thank You!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
Apr 2, 2017 11:35 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hmm, okay I misunderstood then.

I removed the Caudex from photo galleries and added it as a data checkbox under "Underground Structures." Smiling
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Apr 2, 2017 11:45 AM CST
I should have said exactly what section I meant the first time, sorry. Smiling The photo was just there by way of illustration.

These are really amazing plants by the way. Hopefully some time soon one can search using the check box for Caudex to see their great diversity and weirdness.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Apr 2, 2017 12:37 PM CST
I'd love to be able to search that way. Right now the only caudex forming plants I have are the Adeniums, but I want more! Lovey dubby
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Apr 2, 2017 12:57 PM CST
I want more too! Lovey dubby

The "Caudex" addition is only relevant to "Underground Structures", in other words only a subterranean (buried) caudex will show up through the search. Here it is in any case (first 4 plants tagged this morning).

https://garden.org/plants/sear...

I'm not quite sure what one would call the fat roots of Adeniums but they tend to have most of their "body" above ground. I will be combing through my caudiciform books in order to tag a few more examples of geophytic caudiciform succulents, as time goes on.

Karen, if you want to explore this group, there are 2 books titled Pachyforms which have excellent pictures and very detailed care info.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 2, 2017 12:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Apr 2, 2017 3:26 PM CST
Thanks, I'll look them up. I used to have some nice pachypodiums of several types, but I accidentally left them outside during a hard freeze and lost them all. Now that I know better, I'll have to try again.
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