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Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents: The Evolution and Diversity of These Water-Storing Wonders



Caudiciform And Pachycaul Succulents: A Guide To These Fascinating Plants




If you are looking for some unique and exotic plants to add to your collection, you might want to consider caudiciform and pachycaul succulents. These are plants that have swollen stems or roots that store water and nutrients. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, and they can make any space look more interesting and lively.




Caudiciform And Pachycaul Succulents Pdf 27



In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about caudiciform and pachycaul succulents, including their characteristics, care, cultivation, benefits, uses, and best varieties to grow at home. By the end of this article, you will be able to appreciate these fascinating plants more and enjoy growing them yourself.


The Characteristics Of Caudiciform And Pachycaul Succulents




What is a caudex and how does it help these plants survive?




A caudex is a swollen stem or root that serves as a water reservoir for the plant. It helps the plant survive in dry and harsh conditions by allowing it to store water during rainy seasons and use it during droughts. A caudex can also store nutrients and carbohydrates that the plant can use for growth and reproduction.


Caudexes can vary in shape and size depending on the species and the environment. Some caudexes are round, oval, or cylindrical, while others are irregular or branched. Some caudexes are above ground, while others are underground or partially buried. Some caudexes are smooth or hairy, while others are rough or spiny.


What are the different types of caudiciform and pachycaul succulents?




Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents belong to different plant families and genera. However, they share some common features that make them grouped together as a category of succulent plants. Here are some of the main types of caudiciform and pachycaul succulents:


  • Caudiciforms: These are plants that have a caudex that is above ground or partially buried. The caudex can be the main stem or the base of the stem. The leaves and flowers usually grow from the top of the caudex. Examples of caudiciforms are adeniums, pachypodiums, and euphorbias.



  • Pachycauls: These are plants that have a thickened stem that is not necessarily a caudex. The stem can be woody or succulent, and it can have branches or not. The leaves and flowers usually grow along the stem or at the tips of the branches. Examples of pachycauls are baobabs, bottle trees, and desert roses.



  • Geophytes: These are plants that have a caudex that is underground or completely buried. The caudex can be a tuber, a bulb, a corm, or a rhizome. The leaves and flowers usually emerge from the soil surface during the growing season and die back during the dormant season. Examples of geophytes are cyclamens, oxalis, and lithops.



How to identify caudiciform and pachycaul succulents by their shape, size, color, and texture?




Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents can be identified by their distinctive shape, size, color, and texture. Here are some tips to help you recognize them:


  • Shape: Look for plants that have swollen stems or roots that can be round, oval, cylindrical, irregular, or branched. The stems or roots can be above ground, underground, or partially buried.



  • Size: Look for plants that can range from a few inches to several feet in height and width. The stems or roots can be as small as a pea or as large as a watermelon.



  • Color: Look for plants that can have various colors depending on the species and the growing conditions. The stems or roots can be green, brown, gray, purple, red, yellow, orange, pink, or white.



  • Texture: Look for plants that can have different textures depending on the species and the age of the plant. The stems or roots can be smooth, hairy, rough, spiny, warty, wrinkled, or cracked.



The Care And Cultivation Of Caudiciform And Pachycaul Succulents




How to choose the right pot, soil, and location for these plants?




Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents need some special care and cultivation to grow well and stay healthy. Here are some guidelines to follow:


  • Pot: Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the stem or root of the plant. Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Use a pot that is made of clay, ceramic, or terracotta to allow air circulation and moisture evaporation.



  • Soil: Choose a soil that is well-draining, loose, and gritty. You can use a commercial cactus or succulent mix or make your own by mixing equal parts of sand, perlite, and compost. Avoid using soil that is too rich in organic matter or too heavy in clay.



  • Location: Choose a location that provides bright light but not direct sunlight for these plants. Too much sun can scorch their stems or roots and cause them to lose their color and shape. Too little light can make them leggy and weak. A south-facing window sill or a shaded patio are ideal places for these plants.



How to water, fertilize, prune, and propagate these plants?




Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents need some regular maintenance to keep them happy and healthy. Here are some tips to follow:


  • Water: Water these plants sparingly and only when the soil is dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering or underwatering them as both can cause stress and damage to their stems or roots. Water them more frequently during their active growing season (spring and summer) and less frequently during their dormant season (fall and winter).



  • Fertilize: Fertilize these plants once a month during their active growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Avoid fertilizing them during their dormant season as they do not need extra nutrients then.



Prune: Prune these plants occasionally to remove dead or damaged leaves, flowers, or branches. This will help them maintain their shape and health. You can also prune them to control their size or to encourage branching. Use clean and sharp scissors or knives to make clean cuts.


  • Propagate: Propagate these plants by using seeds, cuttings, or grafting. Seeds can be sown in moist and well-draining soil and kept in a warm and bright place until they germinate. Cuttings can be taken from healthy stems or roots and allowed to dry for a few days before planting them in moist and well-draining soil. Grafting can be done by attaching a stem or root of one species to another species that has a compatible caudex.



The Best Caudiciform And Pachycaul Succulents To Grow At Home




A table of 10 popular caudiciform and pachycaul succulents with their names, pictures, and descriptions




Name


Picture


Description


Adenium obesum (Desert Rose)


A caudiciform succulent that has a thick and bulbous stem that can grow up to 3 feet tall. It has glossy green leaves and showy pink flowers that bloom in summer.


Pachypodium lamerei (Madagascar Palm)


A pachycaul succulent that has a spiny and cylindrical stem that can grow up to 15 feet tall. It has long and narrow leaves at the top of the stem and white flowers that bloom in summer.


Euphorbia grandicornis (Cow's Horn)


A caudiciform succulent that has a thick and branched stem that can grow up to 6 feet tall. It has gray-green stems with black spines and small green leaves. It produces yellow-green flowers in spring.


Adansonia digitata (Baobab)


A pachycaul succulent that has a massive and bottle-shaped stem that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It has palmate leaves that fall off during dry seasons and white flowers that bloom at night.


Cyphostemma juttae (Wild Grape)


A caudiciform succulent that has a thick and gnarled stem that can grow up to 10 feet tall. It has large and lobed leaves that turn red in autumn and greenish-yellow flowers that produce edible grapes.


Operculicarya decaryi (Elephant Tree)<