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Leaf Morphology & Indentification 2015-09-20

Identify Firewood by the Leaves of the Tree

  1. Grizzly Adam
    leaf_morphology.png In botany, leaf shape is a description of the form of the part of a plant known as the leaf. It is characterised with the following terms (with botanical Latin in italics in brackets) to describe the shape of leaves:
    • Acicular (acicularis): Slender and pointed, needle-like
    • Acuminate (acuminata): Tapering to a long point
    • Acute: Pointed, having a short sharp apex angled less than 90°
    • Aristate (aristata): Ending in a stiff, bristle-like point
    • Asymmetrical: With the blade shape different on each side of the midrib
    • Basal: Arising from the root crown, bulb, rhizome or corm, etc., as opposed to cauline
    • Bipinnate (bipinnata): Each leaflet also pinnate
    • Caudate: Tailed at the apex
    • Cauline: Borne on the stem, as opposed to basal
    • Compound: Not simple; the leaf is broken up into separate leaflets, and the leaf blade is not continuous
    • Cordate (cordata): Heart-shaped, with the petiole or stem attached to the cleft
    • Cuneate (cuneata): Triangular, stem attaches to point
    • Deltoid (deltoidea) or deltate: Triangular, stem attaches to side
    • Digitate (digitata): Divided into finger-like lobes
    • Elliptic (elliptica): Oval, with a short or no point
    • Entire: Having a smooth margin without notches or indentations
    • Falcate (falcata): Sickle-shaped
    • Fenestrate (fenestrata): "Windowed" with holes (e.g. Monstera deliciosa or Aponogeton fenestralis), or window-like patches of translucent tissue. (cf. Perforate)
    • Filiform (filiformis): Thread- or filament-shaped
    • Flabellate (flabellata): Semi-circular, or fan-like
    • Hastate (hastata), spear-shaped: Pointed, with barbs, shaped like a spear point, with flaring pointed lobes at the base
    • Laciniate: Very deeply lobed, the lobes being very drawn out, often making the leaf look somewhat like a branch or a pitchfork
    • Laminar: Flat (like most leaves)
    • Lance-shaped, lanceolate (lanceolata): Long, wider in the middle
    • Linear (linearis): Long and very narrow
    • Lobed (lobata): With several points
    • Mucronate: Ending abruptly in a sharp point
    • Obcordate (obcordata): Heart-shaped, stem attaches to tapering point
    • Oblanceolate (oblanceolata): Top wider than bottom
    • Oblong (oblongus): Having an elongated form with slightly parallel sides
    • Obovate (obovata): Teardrop-shaped, stem attaches to tapering point
    • Obtuse (obtusus): With a blunt tip
    • Orbicular (orbicularis): Circular
    • Ovate (ovata): Oval, egg-shaped, with a tapering point
    • Palmate (palmata): Consisting of leaflets or lobes radiating from the base of the leaf.
    • Pandurate: fiddle-shaped
    • Pedate (pedata): Palmate, with cleft lobes
      • Pedatifid (pedatifida): Nearly pedately divided, but not as deeply
    • Peltate (peltata): Shield-shaped with stem attached underneath (cf. pelta)
    • Perfoliate (perfoliata): Stem through the leaves
    • Perforate (perforata): marked with patches of translucent tissue, as in Crassula perforata and Hypericum perforatum, or perforated with holes (cf. "Fenestrate")
    • Pinnate (pinnata): Two rows of leaflets
      • Odd-pinnate, imparipinnate: Pinnate with a terminal leaflet
      • Paripinnate, even-pinnate: Pinnate lacking a terminal leaflet
      • Pinnatifid and pinnatipartite: Leaves with pinnate lobes that are not discrete, remaining sufficiently connected to each other that they are not separate leaflets.
      • Bipinnate, twice-pinnate: The leaflets are themselves pinnately-compound
      • Tripinnate, thrice-pinnate: The leaflets are themselves bipinnate
      • Tetrapinnate: The leaflets are themselves tripinnate.
    • Pinnatisect (pinnatifida): Cut, but not to the midrib (it would be pinnate then)
    • Serenoa seedlings have pleated elliptic leaves, but mature plants have pleated palmate leaves.
    • Plicate (plicatus, plicata): folded into pleats, usually lengthwise, serving the function of stiffening a large leaf.
    • Pungent (spinose): Having hard, sharp points.
    • Reniform (reniformis): Kidney-shaped
    • Retuse: With a shallow notch in a broad apex
    • Rhomboid (rhomboidalis): Diamond-shaped
    • Round (rotundifolia): Circular
    • Sagittate (sagittata): Arrowhead-shaped
    • Simple: Leaf blade in one continuous section, not divided into leaflets (not compound)
    • Spear-shaped: see Hastate.
    • Spatulate, spathulate (spathulata): Spoon-shaped
    • Subulate (subulata): Awl-shaped with a tapering point
    • Subobtuse (subobtusa): Somewhat blunted, neither blunt nor sharp
    • Sword-shaped (ensiformis): Long, thin, pointed
    • Terete: Circular in cross-section; more or less cylindrical without grooves or ridges.
      • Semiterete: Rounded on one side, but flat on the other.
    • Trifoliate (trifoliata), trifoliolate (trifoliolata), or ternate (ternata): Divided into three leaflets
    • Tripinnate (tripinnata): Pinnately compound in which each leaflet is itself bipinnate
    • Truncate (truncata): With a squared-off end
    • Undulate (undulatus): Wave-like
    • Unifoliate (unifoliata): With a single leaf
    Eric Fritz, Aje1967 and Eric VW like this.

Recent Reviews

  1. cus_deluxe
    cus_deluxe
    5/5,
    Version: 2015-09-20
    excellent info, very concise!