Definition 2024




Alternative forms


caudicle (plural caudicles)

  1. (botany) A slender, elastic process to which the masses of pollen in orchidaceous plants are attached.
    • 1858, Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1909, Harvard Classics Edition, Volume 2, page 251,
      A pollinium when highly developed consists of a mass of pollen-grains, affixed to an elastic foot-stalk or caudicle, and this to a little mass of extremely viscid matter.
    • 1996, Rebecca Tyson Northen, Miniature Orchids and How to Grow Them, page 86,
      The structure of the rostellum and caudicles of the pollinia are worth noting. There are four pollinia, separated into two pairs. Each pair is attached to a long caudicle ending in a mass of sticky material or a distinct, viscid disc, except that in one species, I. intermedia, the two caudicles share a viscid disc. The rostellum in all species has two projections on which the caudicles lie.
    • 2000, E. Pacini, G. G. Franchi, Types of Pollen Dispersal Units in Monocots, Karen Wilson, David Morrison (editors), Monocots: Systematics and Evolution, unnumbered page,
      The caudicle holds the pollen grains together (Proctor and Harder 1994; Fig. 1).

Related terms