Definition of corm in US English:



  • A rounded underground storage organ present in plants such as crocuses, gladioli, and cyclamens, consisting of a swollen stem base covered with scale leaves.

    Compare with bulb (sense 1), rhizome
    • ‘Some of these plants grow from corms and rhizomes.’
    • ‘The banana is a herbaceous perennial that grows from an underground corm.’
    • ‘Along with true bulbs, several types of flowers, sold as bulbs, grow from the underground stem growth of rhizomes, tubers, and corms.’
    • ‘Bulbs are geophytes including flower-producing bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes with underground storage systems.’
    • ‘Clonal progeny may be produced by stolons, runners, rhizomes, tubers, buds on bulbs, corms and roots, layering of stems, and agamospermous seed.’
    • ‘Plant gladioli, and corms of ranunculus and anemone.’
    • ‘The primary bulb species used for gardens and landscapes include: true bulbs, corms, tubers, tuberous roots, rhizomes, and enlarged hypocotyls.’
    • ‘And they are so easy to manipulate in the garden: Plant a corm and harvest flowers 85 to 100 days later.’
    • ‘Despite their differing underground structures, corms, tuberous roots, and rhizomes are all referred to as bulbs.’
    • ‘The sturdy spade-shaped tool is great for loosening the soil in landscape fabric or plastic planting holes, or in beds when planting bulbs, corms or plugs.’
    • ‘To our knowledge, humans are the only organism that routinely digs up, divides and replants tubers, bulbs and corms of flowers.’
    • ‘Bulbs, tubers, roots and corms should be firm and have no obvious mechanical damage or mold.’
    • ‘The most forgotten purchase of plants is bulbs, tubers and corms.’
    • ‘Tender bulbs, corms and tubers will need protection in cold areas.’
    • ‘Plant corms 3 to 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart in rich, well-drained soil in an area that gets full sun and no summer water.’
    • ‘They are rhizome-like in stalk appearance but actually develop from an underground corm, taking 10 to 15 months before flowering.’
    • ‘The corms of these selected plants were sectioned and the diameter of the corm and central cylinder determined.’
    • ‘Examine bulbs, corms, and tubers for shriveling and rot.’
    • ‘We're hoping that the next garden will have a spot where we can safely plant a few corms to naturalise and spread out.’
    • ‘The former probably show more vegetative reproduction, by rhizomes, corms and bulbs.’
    tuber, rhizome
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin cormus, from Greek kormos ‘trunk stripped of its boughs’.