Leaf Botany - Shape

On The Ledge


It comes to leave talk and God knows I love Lee Talk. There are a little terms. Bandied around that you may or may not be familiar with. I'm going to run through some of them now just to give you an idea of the range of terminology that you can use to describe leaves. I mean why bother you can say well. Relief is round or it's pointy or it's holy. Why bother with all these specialists terms well part of the reason? Is that as you get more into this hobby? No doubt you'll start reading up online and in books about plants and you'll find these terms start to come up and learning. These terms just helps to enhance your understanding of what you're reading. So what are the some of the terms that you're likely to come across? Well let's start at the very basic level with the leaf walk makes up the structure of the leaf. Well the Lamma is the blade of the leaf. The flatbed the that we possibly most interested in and the stock he bit well. That's the patio but do remember not who plants have patios. Some of them joined straight onto the stem. And it's an adaptation that saves the plant some water and listen to bobby reminded me of another useful pair of words when describing leaves and that's back. Co and Adak seal yet. You have to have your teeth in when you say those the opposite of visit belief. That's the Adak seal and the underside. That's the AB axial again. You might come across that one when you are reading about plants and that just helps you to know what is what. And then there's a whole set of words just describing the shape of a leaf. I think you notice about relief. When you're looking at is is it. Simple or compound now simple while that's fairly obvious it just means the leaf is one whole thing together rather than having some complex design whereas a compound leaf well that's formed by a number of flits that join together and then attach onto the stem and there's a couple of different coins compound leads your probably going to come across in the House plan world. Probably the most notable is compound pommie now and as is often the case the clues in the name a compound Paul Mate. Leave looks a bit like a hand. So if you think of a horse chestnut leave or in the House Plant World Shuffler relief. You are along the right lines and you can. Of course get palm. Eight simple leaves think spicier Japonica for example. That's a great example of a leaf. It looks like a hand but it's simple. It's all one leaf. The other form of compound leaf ease the P. natively compound leave and I guess the best example I can think of this. One is the sensitive plant Mimosa. Puteh Co where the leaflets are. All arranged in a straight line out in the garden the best example probably is arose some of the names of quite poetic. Iran the like Peltier eight which means a leaf where the patio joins not the edge of the leaf but somewhere in the center like Mr Shanley compete to that I also like has state which means a spear shaped leaf so think of a Philodendron artem being the perfect example again the Latin telling you something about relief and then we have the wonderful Lancia late which means quite simply shaped like allowance so in other words it comes to a point at the end. So think about your busy Lizzie. Impatiens classic Lawns Hiller leaves there are loads. More LINEAR world best. The spider plants leads right. Best fairly obvious. And then you've got something like Hoya carrier with its OPD coordinator leaves which means that harsh eight with the stem at the pointy and rather than the other end. If you want to go deeper into leaf shape names then do check out the show notes. Broil include some links to some wonderful pictures and diagrams of different types of shapes and he can spend hours learning the all. But how is a leafs shape determined? Why is this so much variation? Well this was where I need to call in an expert. I'm Enrico Coen. I'm research scientist Jonas Center Well we try and study and understand how plant forms are produced. How leaves grow how flowers get shapes often look at around my growing collection of House Plaza? Just wonder the amazing variety of leave shapes demonstrated even in my body's collection do have any insolent for us about why certain leaves are shaped as they are what what is it. What are the factors that determined the shaper indeed leaf size leaves a fascinating terms of the as you say variety of shapes the produced and one of the big questions which we still don't know all the answers to is how these shapes generated manmade shapes? We have a notion of how we make a spoon or plate because there's next to hand off our own hand the the process but with a leaf as with most biological structures there is no external hand it all has to figure out how to produce these shapes internally and Just as in a sense you could imagine how just to we use the musical scale. A single musical scale can produce all the different music that we hear from symphony used concertos to pop music and yet it's the same notes. It's the way in which the organized and put together the generates this amazing Variety of music and the same way leaves have a set of basic ingredients. And it's the combination of these ingredients allows still many different forms to be generated so although he's Mabul variety forms underlying that Some basic rules to get combined and also some glorious ways to produce the shapes. We

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