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Modification of the Aerial Stem - Practice Questions & MCQ

Edited By admin | Updated on Sep 18, 2023 18:34 AM | #NEET

Quick Facts

  • Modification of the Aerial Stem is considered one the most difficult concept.

  • 17 Questions around this concept.

Solve by difficulty

In Bougainvillea thorns are the modifications of :

Stems modified into flat green organs performing the functions of leaves are known as:

Concepts Covered - 1

Modification of the Aerial Stem

Modification of the Aerial Stem 

  • Whole stem or a part of it can be modified to perform additional functions.
  • The identity of the stem remains because there is a clear demarcation of nodes and internodes and buds arising from the axils of the leaves.

Stem Tendrils:

  • Stem or branches can be modified into green and coiled thread-like structures called tendrils.
  • These develop from the axillary bud, the bud present in the axil of the leaf.
  • These help the plants like cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons and grapevines to climb.



  • The axillary buds of stem can be modified to form straight, pointed, woody and hard structures called thorns.
  • It arises in the axil of the leaf.
  • They protect plants from grazing animals.
  • These are found in Citrus, Bougainvillea etc.



  • Phylloclades are modified aerial stem that are flattened or cylindrical.
  • These are characterised by an unlimited growth with a number of nodes and internodes.
  • Because this modification is a feature of xerophytic plants, the leaves are reduced to spines to check transpiration whereas the stem performs photosynthesis.
  • It also stores water.
  • For example, Opuntia (flattened phylloclade), Euphorbia (cylindrical phylloclade).




  • These are the modification of lateral branches with limited growth and limited nodes and internodes.
  • These appear like flattened leaves and perform photosynthesis.
  • In asparagus, the cladodes are one internode long while in Ruscus, these are two internodes long.



  • These are the modified vegetative or floral buds.
  • These store food and serve as propagules for vegetative propagation.
  • For example, in Dioscorea, the axillary buds condense to form the bulbils while in Agave, the floral buds are modified to develop bulbils.
  • They detach from the parent plant and develop into a new plant.


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Modification of the Aerial Stem

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