Photo by Melody

Definition of trichome

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by talinum:

An epidermal hair or bristle.

Definition as written by Monocromatico:

Hair-like structures found on the plant epidermis. It can be present on stems, leaves, sepals, petals, stamens and ovarium. There are many kinds of trichomes, each kind with a different function.

The most common trichomes are the hairs. They can have only 1 cell or more. Some are fragile have empty spaces inside filled with irritant or toxic substances (like in the genera Urtica and Cnidosculus). Some are very long, or densely branches, working as a mechanical protection for the leaves against herbivore insects. Others even work as a termical isolant, keeping the plant protected from the lower temperatures outside. Or they may keep the plant from transpirating, covering the leaf surface, so the water can not evaporate.

In Bromeliads, the trichomes are peltate, ressembling an open umbrella. This umbrella stays open while itīs dry and the plant is transpirating - the umbrella keeps the water from evaporating. When it rains, the umbrella closes, letting water and whatever comes with it be absorbed by the base of the trichomal stalk, going directly to the leaves. Thatīs how air plants or the genus Tillandsia can survive without roots.

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