caudex

[kaw-deks]
noun, plural caudices [kaw-duh-seez] , caudexes. Botany.
1.
the main stem of a tree, especially a palm or tree fern.
2.
the woody or thickened persistent base of an herbaceous perennial.

Origin:
1820–30; < Latin: tree trunk; cf. codex

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Collins
World English Dictionary
caudex (ˈkɔːdɛks)
 
n , pl -dices, -dexes
1.  the thickened persistent stem base of some herbaceous perennial plants
2.  the woody stem of palms and tree ferns
 
[C19: from Latin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
caudex   (kô'děks')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The thickened, usually underground base of the stem of many perennial herbaceous plants, from which new leaves and flowering stems arise.

  2. The trunk of a palm or tree fern.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Tine-leaved milk-vetch is a coarse perennial with a woody taproot below a
  subsurface woody caudex.
Clammy ground cherry is perennial from a deeply buried caudex.
Slender locoweed is perennial from a heavy taproot topped by a knobby
  underground crown called a caudex.
Each year new shoots form along the edges of the woody caudex.
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