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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Parts of a Plant: Tendrils

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Parts of a Plant: Tendrils

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     Earlier this month, my daughter and I were discussing the 'mysterious' plants in our edible landscape. We discovered they are pumpkins. 3 little pumpkin plants have turned our front yard into a jungle.

And yet, there are only 3 pumpkins that have actually gone to fruit. 

     We sat on the lawn, talking about pollination and the lack of bees this year. I played with a tendril absentmindedly as we discussed trying to pollinate them ourselves. Suddenly, I realized the tendril was slowly wrapping around my finger. My daughter was also touching a tendril and it had started to curl as well. We played with several of the tendrils until we had an idea. Maybe, we should video this and post it for others to see? This may be common to country folk, but to us city girls, this was simply amazing! We decided others might feel the same as well. So we made a video. 

Then my daughter asked a good question, 

'WHY do they do that?' 

We Googled it and this is what we found. 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Tendrils.

In botany, a tendril is a specialized stemleaf or petiole with a threadlike shape that is used by climbing plants for support, attachment and cellular invasion by parasitic plants, generally by twining around suitable hosts. They do not have a lamina or blade, but they can photosynthesize. They can be formed from modified shoots, modified leaves, or auxiliary branches and are sensitive to airborne chemicals, often determining the direction of growth, as in species of Cuscuta.[1]

Answers In Genesis says:

'When a tendril touches a fence post or similar object, it produces auxin, which is sent to other cells that have not touched the object. These cells then grow faster than the cells in contact, causing the tendril to curl around the object. The tendrils then use the object to support the plant and allow it to climb.'    You can find the rest of this article  HERE

     So basically, it is sensitive to touch and tries to wrap itself around what ever it touches to provide more support for the growing plant. AMAZING! Ready for the video? Now be nice! This is our first one! 

Isn't that amazing! 

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