foraging food

Leaf Morphology

At this website, we strive to provide simple and standardized descriptions of plants without the use of technical terms and jargon. To achieve this, we have used standard leaf morphology as a tool to identify plants. We believe that by using simple and easily observable characteristics of leaves, such as their size, shape, texture, and arrangement, we can make it easier for our readers to identify different plant species. Therefore, we have avoided using complex terminology that can confuse or intimidate those who are not familiar with botany. By presenting the information in a straightforward manner, we hope to make it accessible to everyone who is interested in learning about plants, regardless of their level of expertise.

shape / arrangement

acicular

needle shaped

acuminate

tapering to a long point

alternate

leaflets arranged alternately

aristate

with a spine-like tip

bipinnate

leaflets also pinnate

cordate

heart-shaped, stem in cleft

cuneate

wedge-shaped, acute base

deltoid

triangular

digitate

with finger-like lobes

elliptic

oval-shaped, small or no point

even pinnate

leaflets in rows, two at tip

falcate

hooked or sickle shaped

flabelate

fan shaped

hastate

triangular with basal lobes

lanceolate

pointed at both ends

linear

parallel margins, elongate

lobed

deeply indented margins

lyrate

shaped like a lyre, with enlarged terminal lobe, smaller lateral lobes

obcordate

heart-shaped, stem at point

oblanceolate

widest portion near the tip, reversed lanceolate

obovate

egg-shaped, narrow at base

obtuse

bluntly tipped

odd pinnate

leaflets in rows, one at tip

opposite

leaflets in adjacent pairs

orbicular

circular

ovate

egg-shaped, narrow at base

palmate

like a hand with fingers

pedate

palmate, divided lateral lobes

peltate

stem attached centrally

pinnatifid

lobes extend less than halfway to midline

pinnatisect

deep, opposite lobing

reniform

kidney-shaped

rhomboid

diamond-shaped

rosette

leaflets in tight circular rings

spatulate

spoon-shaped

spear-shaped

pointed, barbed base

subulate

tapering point, awl-shaped

trifoliate

leaflets in threes

tripinnate

leaflets also bipinnate

truncate

squared-off apex

unifoliate

having a single leaf

whorled

rings of three or more leaflets

margin

ciliate

with fine hairs

crenate

with rounded teeth

dentate

with symmetrical teeth

denticulate

with fine dentition

doubly serrate

serrate with sub-teeth

entire

even, smooth throughout

lobate

indented, but not to midline

serrate

teeth forward-pointing

serrulate

with fine serration

sinuate

with wave-like indentations

spiny

with sharp stiff points

undulate

widely wav