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(also cladode), the modified shoot of plants with a flattened foliaceous stem, which performs the functions of a leaf. The leaves of a cladophyll are severely reduced, forming thorns or falling off early. The cauline nature of a cladophyll is indicated by its position in the axil, which is usually squamose, and by the formation of flowers, which never occurs on true leaves.Cladophylls characterize plants in drought areas and are considered adaptations for decreasing evaporation (their smaller surface and vertical position). They form in various plants, including asparagus and smilax. Sometimes cladophylls that stop growing early and resemble leaves are called phylloclades—for example, Ruscus and Phyllocactus.