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":
... 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 ...
... orchids have an elongate erect stem, with leaves growing along its length ... But the Mocassin Flower (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 ...
... 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 ...
... a folivore is 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 ... as has been observed in folivorous primates, animals may exhibit a strong preference for immature leaves, which tend to be higher in energy and protein and lower in ...
... traditional vegetation, such as banana leaves ... herbs, stuffed with more hot rocks, then wrapped with ti and banana leaves ... and steam from the koa wood and banana leaves ...
Famous quotes containing the word leaves:
“Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures; there is a hole, an empty place, and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen.”
—Peggy Noonan (b. 1950)
“An agnostic position is one that leaves open the question whether there exists a god or gods, professing to find such a question unanswered or unanswerable. For the atheist, the question has been answered, and in the negative.”
—Jaroslav Pelikan (b. 1923)
“The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping”
—Robert Frost (18741963)