A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants.
Typically a leaf is a thin, flattened organ borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis, but many types of leaves are adapted in ways almost unrecognisable in those terms: some are not flat (for example many succulent leaves and conifers), some are not above ground (such as bulb scales), and some are without major photosynthetic function (consider for example cataphylls, spines, and cotyledons).
Conversely, many structures of non-vascular plants, or even of some lichens, which are not plants at all (in the sense of being members of the kingdom Plantae), do look and function much like leaves. Furthermore, several structures found in vascular plants look like leaves but are not actually leaves; they differ from leaves in their structures and origins. Examples include phyllodes, cladodes, and phylloclades.
Other articles related to "leaves":
... medicine by inhaling the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds ... They also sprinkle leaves on wounds, after which a poultice is applied ... In addition, tea tree leaves are soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments ...
... Most slipper orchids have an elongate erect stem, with leaves growing along its length ... (Cypripedium acaule) has a short underground stem with leaves springing from the soil ... The often hairy leaves can vary from ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, folded along their length ...
... have become extremely hot, the hole is lined with traditional vegetation, such as banana leaves ... more hot rocks, then wrapped with ti and banana leaves ... cook in the pit for six to seven hours, absorbing smoke and steam from the koa wood and banana leaves ...
... a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves ... Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less energy than other types of foods, and often toxic compounds ... animals may exhibit a strong preference for immature leaves, which tend to be higher in energy and protein and lower in fibre and poisons than more ...
... The bases of the inner leaves were eaten raw or cooked, also the young flower clusters ... Food was wrapped in the leaves for cooking, and the old fibrous leaves were used for baskets, floor mats, and waterproof thatch for buildings ...
Famous quotes containing the word leaves:
“In my dealing with my child, my Latin and Greek, my accomplishments and my money stead me nothing; but as much soul as I have avails. If I am wilful, he sets his will against mine, one for one, and leaves me, if I please, the degradation of beating him by my superiority of strength. But if I renounce my will, and act for the soul, setting that up as umpire between us two, out of his young eyes looks the same soul; he reveres and loves with me.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“At retirement, switching from I must to I want leaves me puzzled and uneasy.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
“There is a willow grows aslant a brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)