leaf shapes 1
leaf shapes 2
leaf tips
leaf bases
leaf margins
compound leaves
leaf folding
leaf venation
Leaf form has important functional implications for plants and is also of considerable
taxonomic importance, facilitating the identification of a large number of plants.
In auriculate leaves, two basal lobes partially surround the stem. In connate leaves,
an opposite pair of leaves are completely fused around the stem. Palmatifid leaves
are not as deeply lobed as palmate leaves. (Generally if the sinuses between the
lobes extend less than half-way to the leaf centre then we can call the leaf palmatifid).
Above and below: the shapes of simple leaves, based on the leaf's contour.
'Lanceolate' means shaped like a lance head, 'ensiform, means sword-shaped. It
should be noted that many plants have variable or intermediate leaf shapes, e.g.
Above: descriptive terms for leaf tips.
Above: descriptive terms for leaf-blade bases.
Above: descriptive terms for leaf margins.
Above: descriptive terms for compound leaves.
Above: leaf profiles as seen end-on.
Above: some descriptive terms for leaf venation patterns.
Leaf Morphology