Botany

What are Cormophytes?

When talking about cormophytes, from the outset, you may not know well what type of plants we are referring to. But believe me, in this group are one of the genres that most frequently beautify gardens and terraces.

The flowers they produce are so elegant and beautifully colored that it is hard not to stop to look at them. In addition, many of them give off a very pleasant aroma.

What is it?

The term cormophyte has two meanings. The first is the following : it is a perennial plant, that is, it lives for more than two years, has a corm, and loses its aerial part (leaves, stems) during the winter. A corm is an underground stem, which has a swollen base and also has certain protrusions from which the buds arise, and hence the leaves and flowers. It is composed of dry leaves that protect the interior.

It has several similarities to bulbs; in fact, cormophytic plants are usually included in the bulbous group, and are usually cultivated in the same way. However, despite the fact that both stems accumulate nutrients and have more or less the same shape, if we cross-cut a corm we would not see concentric rings as easily as it would happen if we cut a bulb.

The second meaning is simpler: it is a plant that has roots, stems and leaves, and conducting vessels of sap in all its parts. These are the most common, and the most abundant as well. This includes all spermatophyte plants (those that produce seeds), and pteridophytes (which are ferns).

Its origin dates back to more than 300 million years ago. Before them, the few plants that existed were only found in the oceans, since it is known that it was there that life originated. The transition from an aquatic environment to a terrestrial one was a huge change, since in order to survive they had to learn to take advantage of the sunlight while avoiding the loss of water.

And how did they do it? Well, adapting the structure of the leaves. Specifically, modifying the epidermis, which has one or more layers of cells that make up the cuticle. This is a coating that makes the sheet waterproof. Also, thanks to it the water inside is prevented from being lost.

What are the parts of a cormophyte vegetable?

These types of plants are made up of roots, stems and leaves. But, although each of the parts are well differentiated, everything arises from the same point. The roots sprout and grow into the ground, and both the leaves and the stem emerge at the top.

6 examples of cormophytes

There are many plants that fall into this group, so many that it would be impossible to name them all in the same article. Therefore, we have selected a few to give you an idea of ​​what they are like:

Asplenium

The Asplenium are ferns originating in Australia and Europe are characterized by a short rhizome which sprouts leaves called fronds. These can be simple and lanceolate, or they can be very divided. Its height varies greatly depending on the species, being able to measure from 20 centimeters to almost a meter.

Crocus 

Plants of the genus Crocus are one of those that have a corm. They are found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They do not usually exceed 30 centimeters in height, and their leaves are green and long. The flowers are about 15 centimeters tall, and they bloom in spring.

Dioon

Image – Wikimedia/ andy_king50

Dioon are plants native to America. They are quite similar to the Cycas, and in fact belong to the same order (Cycadales), but their bearing and leaves, as well as their inflorescences are somewhat different. They can reach a height of 1-2 meters, with green leaves, pinnate with short pinnae, and leathery.

Helianthus

Those plants that belong to the genus Helianthus are annual or perennial herbaceous plants that reach a height of between 1 and 5 meters. They develop erect or ascending stems, and their leaves are generally large, measuring up to 12 centimeters, yellow in color.

Pinus

Image – Wikimedia/ Katja Schulz

Plants of the genus Pinus are pines, conifers originating in the northern hemisphere that usually grow as trees (rarely as shrubs) that have a pyramidal or rounded crown. The trunk grows somewhat inclined, reaching more than 7 meters in height. They can be found in high altitude forests, but also near the sea, such as Pinus halepensis for example.

Rhopalostylis

Image – Flickr/ Katja Schulz

The species of the genus Rhopalostylis are palms native to the South Pacific. They have a thin trunk of about 30 centimeters, and pinnate leaves between 3 and 5 meters in length. They can reach a height of 10-15 meters depending on the variety.

As you can see, there are many cormophytes. The fact that there are so many makes them a very interesting group of plants, since there are many that are ideal to grow anywhere.

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