Phylloclade and cladode are two flattened structures that are photosynthetic and resemble leaf-like branches. Structurally, they resemble each other, and they are flattened green stems. They have the same function. They contain chlorophylls and carry out photosynthesis. Therefore, they appear in green colour. However, phylloclade has several internodes while cladode is one internode long. Besides, phylloclade shows unlimited growth when cladode is showing limited growth.
What is Phylloclade?
Leaves of xerophytes are highly modified or reduced into spines. The function of leaves is taken over by the flattened or cylindrical structures called phylloclades. Phylloclades are green in colour. They contain chlorophylls, so they carry out photosynthesis in order to make food. Moreover, phylloclades have a thick cuticle or waxy surface to prevent transpiration.
Some phylloclades are shining and succulent. Some are able to store water, mucilage and latex. Also, phylloclade consists of several nodes and internodes. Flowers bloom from each node. Opuncia and Euphorbia tirucalli are two plants that have phylloclades.
What is Cladode?
Cladode is a flattened structure which is similar to phylloclade. Cladodes are modifications of stems of limited growth. Cladode is green in colour since it contains chlorophylls. Therefore, it carries out photosynthesis similar to true leaves. True leaves are modified to spines. Asparagus is a plant species that has cladodes, and its cladodes are one internode long.
Majority of cladodes possesses a single internode, but there are cladodes with two internodes as well. Ruscus aculeatus is another species that has leaf-like cladodes. Some cladodes bear characteristic glochidia which are small bristles with backwards-facing barbs in the areoles. Most genera of cladode-producing plants occur in the cactus family (Cactaceae).
What are the Similarities Between Phylloclade and Cladode?
- Phylloclade and cladode are two types of plant structures.
- They function as leaves.
- Both can carry out photosynthesis.
- They are green in colour.
- In addition, they have nodes and internodes.
What is the Difference Between Phylloclade and Cladode?
Phylloclade is a photosynthetic modified stem or branch which is generally several internodes long. In contrast, cladode is a photosynthetic modified stem segment which is generally one internode long. So, this is the key difference between phylloclade and cladode. Structurally, phylloclades are modified stem and branches while cladodes are mainly modified stems.
Moreover, phylloclade shows unlimited growth, while cladode shows limited growth. Thus, this is another major difference between phylloclade and cladode. Most importantly, phylloclades consist of several internodes while the majority of cladodes have single internode.
The following infographic summarizes the difference between phylloclade and cladode in tabular form.
Summary – Phylloclade vs Cladode
Phylloclade and cladode are two similar structures found in certain plants. Both carry out the function of leaves. They are flattened or cylindrical leaf-like structures but are mainly modified stems. The key difference between phylloclade and cladode is that phylloclade shows unlimited growth while cladode shows limited growth. Moreover, phylloclades have several internodes while most of the cladodes are one internode long. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between phylloclade and cladode.
2. “1489655” (CC0) via Pxhere