from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small stalk or stem, especially the rudimentary stalk of a seed embryo
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A short caulis or stem, esp. the rudimentary stem seen in the embryo of a seed; -- otherwise called a radicle.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In botany, a little or rudimentary stem: applied to the initial stem (more frequently but incorrectly called the radicle) in the embryo, to distinguish it from the cotyledons. Also caulicule and cauliculus.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
When seeds germinate, the lower end of the caulicle, which becomes the root, bears large numbers of root-hairs.
Theories are put forward, most learned theories, introducing capillary action, osmosis and cellular imbibition, to explain why the caulicle ascends and the radical descends.