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Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents: How They Evolved and How to Grow Them



# Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents: A Collector's Guide - ## Introduction - What are caudiciform and pachycaul succulents and why are they fascinating? - How to recognize them by their fat stems, trunks or roots that store water - Some examples of common names and genera of these plants - ## Caudiciforms - What is a caudex and how does it help the plant survive in dry climates? - Some of the most popular and unusual caudiciform plants for collectors - ### Adenium (Desert Rose) - ### Beaucarnea (Ponytail Palm) - ### Dioscorea (Elephant's Foot) - ### Fockea (Hottentot Bread) - ### Ibervillea (Cucumber Vine) - ## Pachycauls - What is a pachycaul and how does it differ from a caudiciform? - Some of the most impressive and attractive pachycaul plants for collectors - ### Aloe (Quiver Tree) - ### Brachychiton (Bottle Tree) - ### Bursera (Elephant Tree) - ### Cyphostemma (Wild Grape) - ### Pachypodium (Madagascar Palm) - ## How to Grow and Care for Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents - The basic requirements for soil, light, water, temperature and fertilizer - The common pests and diseases that affect these plants and how to prevent or treat them - The best ways to propagate these plants from seeds, cuttings or grafting - ## Where to Find and Buy Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents - Some of the online and offline sources for these plants and seeds - How to choose healthy and quality specimens for your collection - How to avoid scams and mislabeling of these plants - ## Conclusion - A summary of the main points and benefits of growing these plants - A call to action for the readers to start or expand their collection of these plants - ## FAQs - What is the difference between a caudiciform and a pachycaul succulent? - How long do these plants live and how fast do they grow? - Can these plants be grown indoors or outdoors? - How often should I water these plants and how much? - How can I make my caudiciform or pachycaul succulent flower? Now that I have the outline ready, I will start writing the article based on it. Please wait for a few minutes while I generate the content. Thank you for your patience.? OK, I'm continuing to write the article. Here is the first part of the article with HTML formatting: Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents: A Collector's Guide




Introduction




If you are looking for some of the most unique and intriguing plants to add to your collection, you might want to consider caudiciform and pachycaul succulents. These are plants that have developed fat stems, trunks or roots that store water and help them survive in dry and harsh environments. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and some of them have spectacular flowers as well.




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Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are also known by many other names, such as fat plants, fat-bottomed plants, bottle plants, barrel plants, elephant trees and quiver trees. They belong to different plant families and genera, but they share the common characteristic of having a swollen part that serves as a water reservoir. Some of the most common genera of these plants are Adenium, Beaucarnea, Brachychiton, Bursera, Cyphostemma, Dioscorea, Fockea, Ibervillea, Pachypodium and Aloe.


In this article, we will introduce you to some of the most popular and unusual caudiciform and pachycaul succulents for collectors. We will also give you some tips on how to grow and care for these plants, as well as where to find and buy them. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in succulent gardening, you will surely find something to inspire and delight you in this fascinating group of plants.


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Caudiciforms are plants that form a caudex, which is a fat, succulent base, trunk or root. The caudex can be aboveground or underground, and it can have various shapes and textures. The caudex helps the plant store water and nutrients during the dry season, when the plant may lose its leaves and go dormant. Some caudiciforms can live for hundreds of years and grow very large.


Some of the most popular and unusual caudiciform plants for collectors are:


Adenium (Desert Rose)




Adenium is a genus of succulent pachycaul shrubs that have thick stems and a swollen basal caudex. They are native to Africa and Arabia, and they produce tubular, flaring flowers that are typically red or pink and very showy. Adeniums are easy to grow in containers and can be trained into bonsai forms. They need full sun, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are sensitive to frost and overwatering.


Beaucarnea (Ponytail Palm)




Beaucarnea is a genus of succulent trees that have a distinctive, sculpted, fat trunk that can store up to 120 gallons of water. They are native to Mexico and Central America, where they can grow up to 30 feet tall. They have terminal tufts of strap-shaped, recurved, bright green, leathery leaves that resemble a ponytail. Beaucarneas are easy to grow indoors or outdoors in warm climates. They need bright light, well-draining soil and occasional water. They are drought-tolerant and pest-resistant.


Dioscorea (Elephant's Foot)




Dioscorea is a genus of tuberous vines that have a large, woody, aboveground caudex that resembles an elephant's foot. They are native to Africa and Asia, and they produce twining stems with heart-shaped leaves and small green or white flowers. Dioscoreas are grown for their ornamental caudexes, which can be displayed by lifting them out of the soil. They need partial shade, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are dormant in winter and active in summer.


Fockea (Hottentot Bread)




Fockea is a genus of climbing vines that have a tuberous, underground caudex that can grow up to 3 feet in diameter. They are native to southern Africa, and they produce thin stems with oval leaves and small white flowers. Fockeas are grown for their edible caudexes, which were used as food by the indigenous people. They need full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are dormant in summer and active in winter.


Ibervillea (Cucumber Vine)




Ibervillea is a genus of deciduous vines that have a spherical or cylindrical caudex that can grow up to 2 feet in diameter. They are native to Mexico and the southwestern United States, and they produce slender stems with lobed leaves and yellow or orange flowers that resemble cucumbers. Ibervilleas are grown for their decorative caudexes, which can be exposed by removing the soil around them. They need full sun, well-draining soil and little water. They are dormant in winter and active in summer.


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Pachycauls are plants that have thick, fat stems or trunks with few branches. They are similar to caudiciforms, but they do not have a distinct caudex. Instead, their entire stem or trunk is swollen and succulent. Pachycauls can grow into large trees or shrubs, and some of them have spectacular flowers or fruits as well.


Some of the most impressive and attractive pachycaul plants for collectors are:


Aloe (Quiver Tree)




Aloe is a genus of succulent plants that have thick, fleshy leaves arranged in rosettes at the end of the branches. They are native to Africa and Arabia, and they produce tubular, colorful flowers that attract birds and insects. Some aloes are pachycauls that have profusely branched stems and a leathery caudex that gives them an ancient appearance. They are also known as quiver trees because the indigenous people used their hollowed branches to make quivers for arrows. Aloes need full sun, well-draining soil and little water. They are frost-tolerant and drought-resistant.


Brachychiton (Bottle Tree)




Brachychiton is a genus of deciduous trees that have a swollen, bottle-shaped trunk that can store up to 1000 gallons of water. They are native to Australia, and they produce large, bell-shaped flowers that are usually red or pink and very showy. Some brachychitons are natural candidates for bonsai, though it takes a few years for the trunk to swell. They need full sun, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are frost-tolerant and drought-tolerant.


Bursera (Elephant Tree)




Bursera is a genus of succulent trees that have a thick, corky trunk and peeling bark that reveals different colors. They are native to northwestern Mexico and the American southwest, and they produce small, fragrant flowers and fruits that resemble frankincense and myrrh. Burseras are favorites of caudex collectors because of their distinctive structure and fragrance. They need full sun, well-draining soil and little water. They are frost-tolerant and pest-resistant.


Cyphostemma (Wild Grape)




Cyphostemma is a genus of succulent vines that have a large, woody caudex that can grow up to 6 feet in diameter. They are native to Africa and Madagascar, and they produce tendrils, lobed leaves and clusters of small flowers and fruits that resemble grapes. Cyphostemmas are grown for their ornamental caudexes, which can be displayed by lifting them out of the soil. They need partial shade, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are dormant in winter and active in summer.


Pachypodium (Madagascar Palm)




Pachypodium is a genus of succulent plants that have a spiny, cylindrical trunk that can grow up to 20 feet tall. They are native to Madagascar and southern Africa, and they produce glossy, green leaves at the top of the trunk and large, fragrant flowers that are usually white or yellow. Pachypodiums are easy to grow in containers and can be trained into bonsai forms. They need full sun, well-draining soil and moderate water. They are sensitive to frost and overwatering.


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Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are not difficult to grow and care for, as long as you provide them with the right conditions and avoid some common mistakes. Here are some basic tips on how to keep these plants happy and healthy:


Soil




These plants need a well-draining soil that does not retain too much moisture or become compacted. You can use a commercial cactus or succulent mix, or make your own by adding perlite, sand or gravel to a regular potting mix. You can also add some organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, to improve the soil structure and fertility.


Light




These plants need plenty of bright light to thrive and flower. They can tolerate full sun in most cases, but some may need some shade during the hottest part of the day. You can grow them outdoors in a sunny spot, or indoors near a south-facing window. If you grow them indoors, you may need to supplement their light with artificial sources, such as fluorescent or LED lamps.


Water




These plants need moderate water during their active growing season, which is usually spring and summer. You should water them thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch, and let the excess water drain out of the pot. You should avoid overwatering them, as this can cause root rot and fungal infections. You should also reduce watering during their dormant season, which is usually fall and winter. You should only water them sparingly to prevent them from shriveling up.


Temperature




These plants need warm temperatures to grow well and flower. They can tolerate a range of temperatures from 50F to 90F, but they prefer temperatures between 60F and 80F. They can also tolerate some frost, but they should be protected from freezing temperatures. You can move them indoors or cover them with a frost cloth if the temperature drops below 40F.


Fertilizer




These plants do not need much fertilizer, as they are adapted to low-nutrient soils. You can feed them once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength. You should avoid fertilizing them during their dormant season, as this can cause them to grow weak and leggy.


I will write the next part of the article soon. Please stay tuned.? OK, I'm continuing to write the article. Here is the fifth part of the article with HTML formatting: Where to Find and Buy Caudiciform and Pachycaul Succulents




If you are interested in starting or expanding your collection of caudiciform and pachycaul succulents, you might be wondering where to find and buy these plants. Here are some of the online and offline sources for these plants and seeds:


Online Sources




There are many online nurseries and sellers that specialize in caudiciform and pachycaul succulents. You can browse their websites and catalogs, compare prices and reviews, and order the plants or seeds you want. Some of the advantages of buying online are the convenience, variety and availability of these plants. However, some of the disadvantages are the shipping costs, delays and risks of damage or loss during transit. You should also check the seller's reputation, policies and guarantees before placing an order.


Some of the online sources for caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are:


  • Out of Africa Plants: This is a nursery based in California that offers a wide range of African caudiciform and pachycaul plants, such as Adenium, Aloe, Cyphostemma, Pachypodium and more.



  • Rare Palm Seeds: This is a seed company based in Germany that offers a large selection of seeds of caudiciform and pachycaul plants from around the world, such as Beaucarnea, Brachychiton, Bursera, Dioscorea, Fockea, Ibervillea and more.



  • Cactus Store: This is a nursery based in Arizona that offers a variety of cacti and succulents, including some caudiciform and pachycaul plants, such as Adenium, Beaucarnea, Dioscorea, Fockea and more.



Offline Sources




There are also some offline nurseries and sellers that specialize in caudiciform and pachycaul succulents. You can visit their physical locations and see the plants in person, ask questions and get advice from the staff, and buy the plants or seeds you want. Some of the advantages of buying offline are the quality, freshness and safety of the plants. However, some of the disadvantages are the limited selection, availability and accessibility of these plants. You should also check the nursery's reputation, policies and guarantees before buying.


Some of the offline sources for caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are:


  • Succulent Gardens: This is a nursery based in California that offers a huge collection of succulent plants, including many caudiciform and pachycaul plants, such as Adenium, Aloe, Beaucarnea, Brachychiton, Bursera, Cyphostemma, Dioscorea, Fockea, Ibervillea, Pachypodium and more.



  • Cactus Jungle: This is a nursery based in California that offers a variety of cacti and succulents, including some caudiciform and pachycaul plants, such as Adenium, Beaucarnea, Brachychiton, Bursera, Dioscorea, Fockea and more.



  • Miles' To Go: This is a nursery based in Arizona that offers a selection of rare and unusual cacti and succulents, including some caudiciform and pachycaul plants, such as Adenium, Aloe, Beaucarnea, Brachychiton, Bursera, Cyphostemma, Dioscorea OK, I'm continuing to write the article. Here is the sixth part of the article with HTML formatting: , Fockea, Ibervillea, Pachypodium and more.



How to Choose Healthy and Quality Specimens for Your Collection




When buying caudiciform and pachycaul succulents, whether online or offline, you should look for healthy and quality specimens that will enhance your collection. Here are some tips on how to choose the best plants or seeds for your needs:


  • Look for plants or seeds that are labeled with their correct botanical names and origins. This will help you identify them and learn more about their characteristics and requirements.



  • Look for plants or seeds that are fresh and viable. Avoid plants that are wilted, yellowed, shriveled, moldy or infested with pests or diseases. Avoid seeds that are old, damaged, discolored or contaminated.



  • Look for plants or seeds that are well-grown and well-shaped. Avoid plants that are leggy, spindly, deformed or scarred. Avoid seeds that are too small, too large or irregular.



  • Look for plants or seeds that are suitable for your climate and growing conditions. Choose plants that can tolerate your temperature range, light level and humidity level. Choose seeds that can germinate in your soil type, pH level and moisture level.



  • Look for plants or seeds that match your preferences and expectations. Choose plants that have the size, shape, color and texture that you like. Choose seeds that have the germination rate, growth rate and flowering time that you want.



How to Avoid Scams and Mislabeling of These Plants




Unfortunately, not all sellers of caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are honest and reliable. Some of them may try to scam you or mislabel their plants or seeds. Here are some ways to avoid being fooled or disappointed by these sellers:


  • Do your research before buying. Check the seller's reputation, reviews and feedback from other buyers. Compare prices and quality from different sources. Ask questions and request more information or photos if needed.



  • Be wary of deals that are too good to be true. Avoid sellers that offer extremely low prices, free shipping, bulk discounts or rare plants that are hard to find elsewhere.



  • Be careful of fake or misleading labels. Avoid sellers that use common names, synonyms, cultivars or hybrids instead of botanical names. Avoid sellers that use photoshopped images, stock photos or photos of different plants than the ones they are selling.



  • Be aware of the laws and regulations regarding these plants. Avoid sellers that ship plants or seeds illegally across borders or without proper permits or certificates. Avoid sellers that sell endangered or protected species without authorization.



I will write the next part of the article soon. Please stay tuned.? OK, I'm continuing to write the article. Here is the seventh and final part of the article with HTML formatting: Conclusion




Caudiciform and pachycaul succulents are some of the most unique and intriguing plants to grow and collect. They have fat stems, trunks or roots that store water and help them survive in dry and harsh environments. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and some of them have spectacular flowers or fruits as well.


These plants are not difficult to grow and care for, as long as you provide them with the right conditions and avoid some common mistakes. You can find and buy these plants or seeds from various online and offline sources, but you should be careful of scams and mislabeling. You should also choose healthy and quality specimens that match your preferences and expectations.


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