Types of leaves

Classification of a leaf

According to the petiole

preciol

Petiolated (Stalked)

preciol

Sessile. (Unstalked)

Petiolated leaves are those that have a petiole. This can be different in length from one plant to another.

Sessile leaves do not possess a petiole. The blade expands itself directly from the stem.

According to the blade

fulles simples

Simple leaf

fulles compostes

Compound leaf

Simple leaves show an undivided blade or, in case it has divisions, they do not reach the midrib.

Compound leaves have a fragmented blade,with divisions reaching the midrib. Sometimes each one of these fragments is similar to a single leaf. They are called leaflets.

According to the edge

Entire

fulla entera

Sinuate

fulla ondulada

Dentate

fulla dentada

Serrate

fulla serrada

Lobed

fulla obulada

Entire leaves have a smooth margin.

Sinuate leaves have little curves with smooth edges like waves.

Dentate leaves have little teeth at the margin.

Serrate leaves have little bent teeth like those of a saw.

Lobed leaves have divisions that do not arrive the center of half blade.

According to the shape of the blade

elliptic

lanceolate

acicular

fulla eliptica

fulla alanceolada

ACICULAR

ovate

cordate

fulla ovada

fulla cordiforme

Hastate

linear

fulla hastada

fulla linear

Elliptic leaves: remembering to a ellipse. 2 or 3 times longer than wide

Lanceolate leaves: spear-shaped. Gradually extending at the base and lessening to the apex.

Acicular leaves: needle-shaped. Several times longer than wide; ending sharply at the apex.

Ovate leaves: egg-shaped. Wider at the base than the apex.

Cordate leaves: heart-shaped. More extended at the base than the ovate type and with a notch

Hastate leaves: halberd-shaped. Remembering to that old fashioned weapon which was a combination between a spear and a battle-ax. Wider at the base but with lobes ending sharply.

linear leaves: strip-shaped. Several times longer than wide. Not pointed at the apex like in the acicular type.

According to the veins

Parallel-veined

Pinnate

Palmate

fulla paralelinervia

penninervia

fulla palaminervia

Parallel-veined leaves: the veins run at the same distance to each other, like in canes.

Pinnate leaves: There is a main nerve, called midrib, from which the other nerves derive, remembering a plume.

Palmate leaves: The nerves diverge from the main point such as the fingers do in the palm of the hand.

According to the arrangement along the stem

alternate

opposite

fulles alternes

fulles opostes

whorled

rosulate

fulles verticilades

fulles bassals

alternate: springing one per node at different levels of the stem.

opposite: two per node, facing opposite sides of the stem.

whorled: Several leaves disposed at the same level around the stem.

rosulate forming a rosette, like a ring around the stem.

Do the following activities before the test:
Activity 9 Activity 10 Activity 11

Now you can do the test:

test

Examination on leaves for primary school children.

Observe the following plants and choose the suitable answer in each case:

brezo

How would you define the leaves of the heather according to the blade?

Simple

Petiolated

Compound

amapola

How would you define the poppy leaves according to the margin?

Lobed

Dentate

Sinuate

menta

How would you define the mint leaves according to the nerves?

Palmate

Parallel-veined

Pinnate

narciso

How would you define the daffodil leaves according their arrangement along the stem?

Whorled

Opposite

Rosulate

Flowers: TypesGo back to main page “The leaves”

 To know more about “The leaves”Characteristics and parts of the leaves

punto rojo More information about plants cultivation.

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing
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Article updated on: 22 April, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.
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