¿Qué son las espinas y para qué sirven?

The role of thorns in plants

The spines they are a transformation of some plant organs, these are differentiations of the epidermis that are called trichomes. They are structures that do not have chlorophyll, they can be thin, hard and pointed.

They originate in the internal tissues of plants, have a vascular tissue. The thorns are formed in the trunk, leaves, branches and even fruits of many plants.

Normally they fulfill two functions: be protective elements or serve to be part of survival strategies in extreme conditions.

They are a good element of protection against danger of being eaten by animals. This is the case of rose bushes, which have modified stems.

They are also an extreme survival strategy with modified leaves, they are present in many crassulaceae and cacti. In the case of xerophilous plants they can develop spines as a result of the lack of water they receive. The thorns, in this case, allows to reduce the perspiration of the plant helping to save water. These plants are characterized by accumulating a large amount of water inside, so the thorns help protect them from animals.

exist Different types of thorns. Leaf spines can be the result of the transformation of a leaf, as with cacti, thistles and species that belong to the genus Berberis. Without more rigid and sharp. The greater exposure to the sun the thorns become denser and stronger.

Caulinarian spines have their origins in stem transformation. They are hardened and sharp stalks. These thorns are typical of the specimens of the Rosaceae and Fabaceae family.

Photo | Flickr

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