noun, plural cau·di·ces [kaw-duh-seez] /ˈkɔ dəˌsiz/, cau·dex·es. Botany.

the main stem of a tree, especially a palm or tree fern.
the woody or thickened persistent base of an herbaceous perennial.

Origin of caudex

1820–30; < Latin: tree trunk; cf. codex Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caudex

Historical Examples of caudex

British Dictionary definitions for caudex


noun plural -dices (-dɪˌsiːz) or -dexes

the thickened persistent stem base of some herbaceous perennial plants
the woody stem of palms and tree ferns

Word Origin for caudex

C19: from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for caudex



The thickened, usually underground base of the stem of many perennial herbaceous plants, from which new leaves and flowering stems arise.
The trunk of a palm or tree fern.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.