Did you know that the leaf has one of the most morphologically diverse plant structures next to the flower? This structure not only allows them to play their extremely vital roles for the plant nut also to increase its chances to survive to continue their role in providing nourishment for the plant! If you want to know more about leaves, here’s a short list of interesting facts about them!
- Leaves use more than 60 botanical terms that can describe their plant structure or form! Some of these terms would include abscission zone, acicular, dicots,nomen illegitimum, monocotyledon, lignicolous and many more!
- Leaves are actually organs of the plant! It usually has two basic parts namely the lamina (the blade) and the petiole (the stem-looking object that connects the lamina to the stem). Some leaves have bigger lamina while some have smaller ones. Each of these variations serves a purpose, for example, plants in a rainforest will need a bigger lamina to increase their chances to get some light!
- Most of the photosynthesis process happens in the leaves, while some happen in the stem. Some plants develop stems that are flattened to make them specialized in the photosynthesis process. An example of these is cactus pads!
- The mesophyll is where most of the photosynthesis process happens. It can be found just below the epidermis or skin of the surface of the leaf.
- Liverworts and mosses do not have leaves on them despite their appearance. In order to be called a true leaf, in should be composed of more than one layer of cells. This would include the cuticle or the waxy layer, stomata (the one in charge for the gas exchange), xylem (delivers the water), phloem (delivers the sap), and air spaces inside!
- Cotyledons are the first leaves that appear on the plant. In general, they do look the same as other cotyledons and they do not look like the other leaves that grow from the plant afterward.
- Single cotyledons are called Monocots. These are the single, narrow bladed leaves such as grasses, onions, tulips, grains, bananas etc. On the other hand, Dicots produces two cotyledons. Their examples are tomatoes, beans, oak trees, lettuces etc.
- Despite their appearance, conifers actually have leaves! Those needle-like leaves are actually created that way because it is specialized to resist and avoid desiccation (or the state of extreme dryness)
- Cactuses also have leaves on them too. However, some are microscopic in size while some develop bigger ones but immediately falls out in the spring.
Well, there you have it folks! The leaves of the plant are actually very interesting! Not only do they bring beauty in the world of plants, but also interesting points of study! Now that you know more a bit about leaves, the next time you see one, you will not only notice its beauty, but also the beauty of what is inside and why they have that specific appearance!