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Science Topics: Leaves

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sycamoreleaf.jpg (177248 bytes) fatsia_leaf.jpg (124615 bytes) horsechestnutleaf.jpg (135031 bytes) pondiris_leaf.jpg (153368 bytes) fescue.jpg (154058 bytes)
The leaves of Sycamore are partly divided into sections called lobes. This shape is called lobed. The leaves of Fatsia japonica are more deeply split than those of Sycamore. The leaf seems to have fingers which are joined to a central palm. This arrangement is called palmate. Horse Chestnut leaves are also split into fingers but the leaves are completely dissected so that each finger is a leaflet. This arrangement is called pedate. Many plants have long thin leaves. The narrow pointedshape of these  Iris leaves is called ensiform. Fescue is a grass which is adapted to life in dry places. The leaves are waxy and very thin to help conserve water.
Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman
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thrift.jpg (156558 bytes) solomonsseal.jpg (143162 bytes) wygelialeaves.jpg (143303 bytes) clematistendril.jpg (143661 bytes) variegated.jpg (168233 bytes)
Thrift, or Sea Pink, is another plant adapted for life in very dry places. Its leaves are fine and waxy and its roots very long and tough. The leaves of Solomons Seal clearly show the parallel veins typical of members of the group of flowering plants known as monocotyledons. (This group includes grasses, lilies, irises) Wygelia leaves clearly show the branching veins typical of dicotyledons. Clematis leaves are modified to act as tendrils. The petiole of the leaf wraps itself around a suitable anchoring point. Many plants have leaves which have areas of colour other than green. These patches may be white, showing a lack of chlorophyll or coloured showing the presence of other pigments. Leaves like those of the pieris shown here are known as variegated.
Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman Mike Freedman
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This page was last updated on 26 October 2007