Definition - What does Cormel mean?

A cormel is a small young corm propagated by a mature corm, which is a fleshy bulb-shaped organ that stores food at the base of a plant stem. Cormels normally arise at the base of a fully developed corm. Many small cormels can arise at the basal area of a mature corm, especially when the main corm is damaged or infected.

A cormel takes two to three years to grow before it is large enough to flower. The formation of a cormel starts after the shoot has developed fully expanded leaves.

MaximumYield explains Cormel

Corms located closer to the ground produce more cormels. As corms mature they are replaced by new corm called a cormel. This process begins when the shoot develops completely expanded leaves. As a new corm grows, short stolons are formed, which end with a newly grown young cormel. A cormel replaces the mature corm after it is used up and withers away.

Depending on the species, a cormel takes several months or years before it develops, flowers, and become a mature corm.

A cormel serves a reproductive purpose, but in the wild it is important as a survival strategy. Corms serve as food sources where geophytes are abundant and where animals such as pocket gophers, mole rats, and bulb weevils feed on them from below while other animals such as wild pigs feed on them from above. In such cases, vulnerable plants such as Gladiolus, Watsonia, and Homeria produce cormels in great numbers to ensure that some remain in the soil for development. The Homeria species produces bunches of cormels on its underground stem nodes to guarantee its sustainability. Others such as Watsonia meriana profusely produce cormels from under the bracts on the inflorescence.

Corms and cormels resemble bulbs in appearance but are not true bulbs.

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