Liana vs. Vine

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Liana and Vine is that the Liana is a long-stemmed, woody vine and Vine is a plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent (that is, climbing) stems or runners

  • Liana

    A liana is a long-stemmed, woody vine that is rooted in the soil at ground level and uses trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy in search of direct sunlight. Lianas are characteristic of tropical moist deciduous forests (especially seasonal forests), but may be found in temperate rainforests and temperate deciduous forests. There are also temperate lianas, for example the members of the Clematis or Vitis (wild grape) genera. Lianas can form bridges amidst the forest canopy, providing arboreal animals with paths across the forest. These bridges can protect weaker trees from strong winds. Lianas compete with forest trees for sunlight, water and nutrients from the soil. Forests without lianas grow 150% more fruit; trees with lianas have twice the probability of dying.The word liana does not refer to a taxonomic grouping, but rather a habit of plant growth – much like tree or shrub. It comes from standard French liane, itself from an Antilles French dialect word meaning to sheave.

    Lianas may be found in many different plant families. One way of distinguishing lianas from trees and shrubs is based on the stiffness, specifically, the Young’s modulus of various parts of the stem. Trees and shrubs have young twigs and smaller branches which are quite flexible and older growth such as trunks and large branches which are stiffer. A liana often has stiff young growths and older, more flexible growth at the base of the stem.

  • Vine

    A vine (Latin vīnea “grapevine”, “vineyard”, from vīnum “wine”) is any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent (that is, climbing) stems, lianas or runners. The word vine can also refer to such stems or runners themselves, for instance, when used in wicker work.In parts of the world (including the British Isles), the term “vine” usually applies exclusively to grapevines (Vitis), while the term “climber” is used for all climbing plants.

  • Liana (noun)

    A climbing woody vine, usually tropical.

  • Vine (noun)

    The climbing plant that produces grapes.

  • Vine (noun)

    Any plant of the genus Vitis.

  • Vine (noun)

    Any similar climbing or trailing plant.


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