Caudiciform plants, or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climate or soil conditions. Caudiciform plants store water in their stem bases, stems and/or roots. Many species of plant from different plant families have developed this form of storing water rather than in foliage or in fat leafless stems. Consequently, many caudiciform plants have temporary shoots and leaves that die back to the caudex or tuber at or underground when conditions become too dry and regrow once conditions improve.
Many caudiciform succulents come from the dry areas of the tropics and subtropics, such as steppes, semi-desert and desert. High temperatures and low precipitation force plants to collect and store water in order to survive long dry periods.