All about caudiciforms

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Lino Rom, a well-known plant collector from Cavite, shared that there’s a unique component in some plants that make it discernable from others.

“Caudiciforms are types of unrelated plants that have enlarged parts for storing water, much like several kinds of cacti and succulents that many people are familiar with,” Rom said.

Also called “fat plants,” caudiciforms are characterized by a caudex, which is a swollen stem, trunk, or root that serves as water storage because these plants commonly grow in arid places like deserts.

Plants with caudices (plural for caudex) come in different sizes—some grow into tall trees, while some have vines or are small succulents. Examples of common caudiciforms are aloe and euphorbia.

Rom explained that an example of a caudiciform is the barrel cactus because it has a stout base in comparison with other cactus varieties.

When it comes to caring for plants with caudices, Rom said that caudiciforms are easy to care for because they are able to store water during dry periods.

“They don’t need to be watered regularly; only when the soil is visibly dry,” Rom said. He added that beginners can easily realize that caudiciforms quickly adapt to whatever environment they’re located in. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, provided that they have the proper amount of sun exposure.

In the meantime, Rom said during the Cactus, Succulent, and Bromeliad Festival that the uncommon caudiciform plants are one of the many kinds of plants that collectors would love to have in their garden.

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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