|trichome (trĭk'ōm', trī'kōm') Pronunciation Key
One of the hairlike or bristlelike outgrowths on the epidermis of a plant. Trichomes serve a variety of functions, depending on their location. As root hairs (and as leaf hairs in epiphytes), trichomes absorb water and minerals. As leaf hairs, they reflect radiation, lower plant temperature, and reduce water loss. They also provide defense against insects.