Difference between Stem Tendril and Leaf Tendril

What is a tendril?

Tendrils are thin, wiry designs along the plant’s stem that really stretch around in the air until they interact with something. Once in touch, the tendril twists into a loop. This phenomenon is termed thigmotropism.

Tendrils are common modifications seen in climbing plants. This structure is usually seen in the leaves or stems of climbing plants. The two types of tendrils are –

  • Stem tendril
  • Leaf tendril

These tendrils are usually green in colour and can carry photosynthesis. Also, they are sensitive to chemicals. The tendrils in Cuscuta (parasitic plant), only twine around the suitable host.

Also Read: Leaf – Morphology, Types and Modifications.

Difference between Stem Tendril and Leaf Tendril

Stem Tendril

Leaf Tendril

Stem tendrils are branch modifications that help the plant to climb.

Leaf tendrils are leaf or leaflet modifications that emerge from leaf nodes and usually support the stem.

Slender and spirally coiled tendrils develop from the auxiliary bud.

Entire or part of a leaf gets modified into a tendril.

Examples – Pumpkin, Cucumber, Grapes, and Watermelon.

Examples – Sweet peas, Wild peas and Gloriosa.

Stem tendrils can be axillary tendrils, extra axillary tendrils, floral bud tendrils and apical bud tendrils.

Leaf tendrils can be whole leaf tendrils, leaflet tendrils, petiolar tendrils, leaf tip tendrils and rachis tendrils.

Also See: Stem Modifications

Frequently Asked Questions

What is thigmotropism?

It is a kind of directional growth occurring in response to stimuli. When the tendrils or modifications interact with a solid object, they show a coiling response. This coiling response is thigmotropism.
Extended Reading: Tropic Movements in Plants

What is the use of a tendril?

The main use of tendrils is to provide support to the climbing plant. The stem tendrils in gourd plants help them to climb. Once they give support to the plant, they stand erect and expose the maximum area to sunlight. Tendrils are also used in cellular invasion by Cuscuta. Cuscuta is a parasitic plant. The tendrils of Cuscuta twine only around the suitable host.

How are tendrils different from spines?

Tendrils are stem or leaf modifications that can carry photosynthesis. They act as a support for the plant to climb. Whereas, spines are sharp projections on a leaf that are usually seen as a protective modification. They protect the plant from animal attacks

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics.

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