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Explain the difference between thorns, spines, and prickles.?
 Question Submitted By :: Botany
I also faced this Question!!     Answer Posted By  
# 1
Spines and Thorns as in answer #1.

Prickles are usually small, usually stiff, usually sharp-
pointed outgrowths of the epidermis or bark of a plant.
Examples of prickles are the pokey projections on
blackberries (Rubus spp), Roses (Rosa spp) and Kapok trees
(Ceiba spp).
Is This Answer Correct ?    11 Yes 4 No
E. Broderick
# 2
Thorns Spines and Prickles have only one thing in common
viz. they are all very sharp pointed and helpful as a
defense mechanism.

Now let us see the differences ( All Botanical)

1) Spines = these are all modified LEAVES; i.e. the leaves
are turned in to or reduced to spines. Very good example is
Cactus. In all cacti the stem does the function of
photosynthesis (Phylloclade) and the leaves are turned in
to spines to reduce the rate of transpiration and also act
as defense mechanism against animals.They are seen at the
node where a leaf is expected

2) Thorns = These are all modified branches ( i.e. stem
modification). They either develop from terminal or
axillary buds.. They are also used for defense.They are
seen only at the node of the plant.They are endogenous in
origin i.e. from the vascular tissue.Examples are
Pomegranate, Bougainvillea

3) Prickles = These are NOT modifications of any existing
organ of a plant. They are entirely new organs ( "Organa de
novo" as said in Latin).They are found any where and
indiscriminately on the plant( Stem , leaves ) . They are
exogenous in origin ( develop from epidermal tissue only).
Therefore they break off easily. Rose is an excellent
Is This Answer Correct ?    5 Yes 0 No
Kushagra Chaturvedi
# 3
Thorns are exodermic outgrowths and the modification of stem
or branches.

Spines are endodermic in origin and the modification of leaves.

Prickles also exodermic in origin and modification of
leaves in some cases and in some the modidfied branches.
Is This Answer Correct ?    14 Yes 12 No
# 4
Thorns grow on the stem but are hard and gorw inner whereas
the prickles too grow on stem but are little soft and grow
outer .The spines grow on the leaf.
Is This Answer Correct ?    3 Yes 4 No

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