As I sit typing here I am looking at my bunch of bluebells and debating on the leaf structure (my guess is basal, simple leaves). As previously mentioned, I am taking a course on local flora taught by Dr. H____, of the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
I hope that he will not mind my sharing with my blog readers some of what we are learning this semester about flora:
- more or less parallel, “opposite”
- they can alternate
- they can also cluster together in what’s called a “whorl” but which reminds me of a spiral pattern.
They also have two basic structure types:
- simple — a single leaf that can have either smooth edges or rough edges (serrated or denate depending on the slant of the leaf edge).
- complex — a leaf with multiple leaves in it, officially, they’re called “leaflets”. Based on the structure, it can be either a palm-like leaf, known as a “palmate” or a feather-like structure, called a “pinnate”.
Oh, and something else kind of neat…apparently the stem of the leaf that attaches to a twig or branch is called a “petiole“. Okay, so now you’ve got a basic idea of some of the elements of leaf structure.
It’s a beautiful weekend. Go for a walk. I would encourage anyone in the area to stop by the gardens and check out the wonderful array of blooms in season. As a follow-up, I may also be adding a media gallery to this site of images gathered from my visits to the gardens!