Difference between Tendrils and Spines

What are Tendrils?

Tendrils are specialised plant organs that are modifications of leaves, terminal buds and floral buds. It is a thread-like structure that is borne from the internodes of the stem. It acts as a support and anchorage for climbing plants.

The most common example of a tendril is the garden pea, squash and grapes. Tendrils are sensitive to touch and chemical agents. They tend to fold, twirl and curve around the object causing the stimulation. Later they develop strong sclerenchymatous tissues that give enough support for the plant to climb.

What are Spines?

Spines are modified leaves. They are slender and sharp-pointed structures. The most common example of spines is as seen in a cacti plant. The spines on the cacti leaves protect the plant from herbivore action. It helps in radiating heat from the stem during daytime, and collects the dripping condensed water on cooler nights.

Tendrils vs Spines

Tendrils

Spines

Description

Tendrils are thread-like structures.

Spines are slender, sharp-pointed structures.

Modification of

Tendrils are a modification of the leaves, terminal buds and floral buds.

Spines are modifications of leaves.

Function

It acts as a support and anchorage for climbing plants.

It protects the plant from herbivore action.

Sensitivity

It is sensitive to touch and chemical agents.

No sensitivity.

Example

Sweet pea, squash

Cactus, prickly pear

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Tendrils and Spines

What is the difference between a spine and a thorn?

Spines are modified leaves that occupy the same position as leaf, whereas thorns are usually formed in the leaf axil.

How are spines different from leaves?

Spines are pointed slender structures that are modifications of leaves, whereas leaves are lateral appendages borne above the ground and specialise in photosynthesis.

How does leaf tendril differ from stem tendril?

A leaf tendril is the modified form of a leaf whereas stem tendrils are modified versions of stems.

What is the difference between thorn and spike?

A thorn is a pointed structure in plants that plays the role of defence, whereas spike is a type of floral arrangement that bears tall flowers.

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