A caudex (plural: caudices) is a form of stem morphology appearing as a thickened, short, perennial stem that is either underground or near ground level (frequently woody, and non-photosynthetic). It may be swollen for the purpose of water storage, especially in xerophytes. Elongate branches may arise from the caudex, or the leaves may be more or less sessile to the caudex.
Caudiciform describes plants having a caudex. Some notable caudiciformic genera: Adenia (family Passifloraceae), Beaucarnea (family Ruscaceae), Hydnophytum (family Rubiaceae), Jatropha (family Euphorbiaceae), Pachyrhizus (family Fabaceae), and Adenium (family Apocynaceae).
Latin caudex, n.; tree trunk.