Structurally a vine is a woody plant with long, slender stems. This has two purposes. A vine may use rock exposures, other plants, or other supports for growth rather than investing energy in a lot of supportive tissue, enabling the plant to reach sunlight with a minimum investment of energy. The vine growth form may also enable plants to colonize large areas quickly, even without climbing high. It is also an adaptation to life in areas where small patches of fertile soil are adjacent to exposed areas with more sunlight but little or no soil. A vine can root in the soil but have most of its leaves in the brighter, exposed area, getting the best of both worlds. This climbing habit has evolved independently in several plant families, using many different climbing methods. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
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