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Thorn  [ Botany ]
Adjective: Thorny

  Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  A thorn is a sharp, stiff, woody outgrowth formed by a modification of a plant organ which unlike the spines of Cactaceae contain vascular tissue.  
Thorn is a sharp-pointed stem which has tiny leaf scars and arises from a modificated axillary or apical bud whereas spines usually develop from the leaves. Because of this, breaking a thorn off the plant damages the surrounding tissue.
Thorns are hard while spines are comparatively soft. Itís main function is the protection from the enemies. Prickles and spines are technically different from thorns, but have the same overall effect.

(Compare with spine, prickle, bristle, glochid)






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