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Vegetative Morphology
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The broad expanded part of the leaf
Blade
The leaf stalk
Petiole
Leaf-like appendages found at the base of the petiole. Often deciduous and drops as the leaf expands
Stipules
Two leaves borne per node; leaves opposite on twig
Opposite
Pair of leaves close but not at the same level of attachment on the twig; almost opposite
Subopposite
One leaf born per node; leaves spiral around the twig
Alternate
Three or more leaves per node
Whorled/Verticillate
Leaves in pairs with each adjacent pair at right angles from each other on the twig
Decussate
coleus, hypericum
Stem-less herbaceous plant; leaves often appear as a basal rosette
Acaulescent
Geophytes, dandylions
Tissue that partially surrounds another organ
Sheath
Without a petiole
Sessile
With a petiole
Petiolate
Extending down the stem, as in leaf tissue
Decurrant
Undivided or uninterrupted leaf blade (though the leaf may be lobed)
Simple
Leaf blade divided into lobes of which the sinuses reach more than midway to the rachis
Pinnatifid
A leaf blade divided into two or more segments
Compound
Term used for leaves that are pinnately compound more than once
Decompound
Main axis of a compound leaf or inflorescence from which leaflets of flowers are borne
Rachis
Photosynthetic division of a compound leaf
Leaflet
Sessile or petiolate designation applies here as well
Main access of a compound leaf or inflorescence from which leaflets or flowers are borne
Rachis
Stalk of the leaflet
Petiolule
An undeveloped shoot or flower
Bud
Compound leaf with leaflets distributed on both sides of the rachis
Pinnately compound
Compound leaf with an even number of leaflets resulting in the lack of a terminal leaflet
Even pinnately compound
Compound leaf with an odd number of leaflets ending in a terminal leaflet
Odd pinnately compound
Compound leaf with all leaflets attached at the apex of the petiole
Palmate
Compound leaf with three leaflets
Trifoliate/Ternate
Leaf Shapes
Needle-shaped
Needle
Heart-shaped leaf
Cordate
Triangular shaped leaf (like an equilateral triangle)
Deltoid
Shaped like an ellipse; broadest in the middle and narrower at the ends; often symmetric
Elliptic
Sickle-shaped; hooked
Falcate
Fan-shaped
Fan-shaped
Egg-shaped; attached at the broad end
Ovate
Very elongated leaf; long and narrow with more or less parallel sides
Linear
Kidney-shaped
Reniform
Elongate leaf with nearly parallel sides; two to four times longer than broad
Oblong
Inverted egg-shape (ovate) with attachment at the narrow end
Obovate
Circular
Orbicular
Arrowhead-shaped with the basal lobes directed downward
Saggittate
Lance or spear-shaped; longer than wide; widest point below the middle
Lanceolate
Leaf Margins
With a marginal fringe of hairs
Ciliate
Rounded teeth along the margin; scalloped margin
Crenate
Margin with large blunt teeth; teeth directed outward rather than forward
Dentate
Smooth margins; not toothed, notched or divided
Entire
With margins rolled backward toward the underside of the leaf
Revolute
Saw-like teeth on margin with teeth pointing forward
Serrate
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