Did you know that vine is a climbing shrub? In nature, it tends to slither on the ground…
… but if there are supports or other plants nearby, it can grab onto them as a support and stand up thanks to tendrils
The tendril is a modification of the vine trunk and is like a simple filament, but it can be also two-pointed or three-pointed. The tendril is equipped with thigmotropism (a word coming from Greek “thigmo”, which means “touch” and “tropism”, which means “turning”): a movement being a reaction to a tactile or touch input.
Il viticcio è cioè attratto da possibili appigli e nel momento in cui li tocca, le sue cellule iniziano a produrre l’ormone vegetale auxina, un ormone particolarmente concentrato nei tessuti giovani in via di sviluppo soprattutto a livello degli apici dei germogli, che viene poi trasportato alle cellule vicine che crescono più velocemente delle altre
Now the tendril starts to hook onto the support with circular spiral movements, so to create a tight grip. A tightly wrapped tendril can hold a weight of up to 1 kg
During winter, the tendrils lignify, as the other parts of the vine, forming actual small delicate spiral sculptures – almost artworks! – and their grip onto filaments is so tight which can make hard their winter pruning.
Their spiral wrapping on filaments form tangles, which are so tight to influence on the detachment of branches during pruning.
A little curiosity: another term to identify tendrils in italian is… cirri!
by Silvia Cirri e Linda Franceschi