Difference between Trichome and Filament


These are hair-like outgrowths seen on plants and some protists. The features of trichomes vary from species to species and between organs. Trichomes on plants are mostly epidermal outgrowths. The plant hair or trichome can be branched or unbranched, unicellular or multicellular, glandular or non-glandular. Glandular trichomes secrete metabolites like flavonoids, terpenoids, etc. Non-glandular helps to protect the plant against UV light.


Mostly trichomes are used for the plant’s protection. The Urtica plant has specialised stinging trichomes that deliver histamine (an inflammatory chemical). This prevents herbivore attacks. The hooked hairs on kidney bean leaves trap bedbugs by piercing their legs. Thus, they prevent the multiplication of bedbugs in the bean plant.


The filament of a plant is typically a stalk that supports the anther. This stalk transports nutrients to the anther which is the pollen-producing part. In some plants, the filament is seen as a fused structure. Androphore is a column formed by the amalgamation of multiple filaments.

Explore: Morphology of Flowering Plants

Difference between Trichome and Filament



It is a hair-like outgrowth on the epidermis.

It is an elongated thread-like structure that supports the anther.

They are found on leaves and stems.

They are a part of the male reproductive structure.

It is mostly used as a defensive or protective structure.

It supports anther and helps in pollen formation.

Also see: Difference between Thorns and Spines

Frequently Asked Questions


What are indumentum and pubescent?

A covering on a trichome or any hair-like structure is called an indumentum. Pubescent is the surface that carries the hairy outgrowths. Generally, pubescent denotes plants with short protective hairs on their stems and leaves.


What are filamentous algae?

Some algae like Spirogyra and Ulothrix are made of filamentous structures. Their filamentous masses are seen on the water surface as algal mats. These mats are strangled filaments of the algae.


What are algal trichomes?

Most filamentous algae have their terminal cells modified into a hair-like trichome. This trichome may be sheathed (Calothrix) or unsheathed (Oscillatoria). Usually, these filamentous sheaths help to maintain the soil structure.

Also Read: Modifications of Stem

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics.


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