Leaves are green and thin flattened lateral outgrowths of the stem. Leaves are borne at the nodes of the stem. They are the main organs of photosynthesis. The green leaves of the plant are collectively termed as foliage of the plant.

Parts of a Leaf:

The three major parts of a typical leaf are as follows:

A.  Leaf base
B. Petiole
C. Lamina

2374_parts of leaf.jpg

 Figure: Parts of a typical leaf and Pulvinus and Sheathing leaf base

Leaf base:

The portion of the leaf that is joined to the stem or a branch is termed as leaf base. In certain plants the leaf has a swollen leaf base. It is termed as pulvinus. Example: Compound leaves of the family Fabaceae. In monocots the leaf base is very wide and flat and it clasps a portion of the node of the stem as in banana and in maize. It is termed as sheathing leaf base.


In many dicotyledonous plants, the leaf-base bears two lateral appendages termed as the stipules. Leaves that have the stipules are termed as stipulate. The leaves devoid of stipules are termed as exstipulate. The major function of the stipule is to defend the leaf in the bud.


Petiole joins the lamina with the stem or the branch. A leaf is stated to be petiolate whenever it has a petiole. It is stated to be sessile whenever the leaf does not have a petiole.

Leaf blade:

It is also termed as lamina. This is the most significant, green portion of the leaf that is mainly concerned with the production of food. The lamina is traversed by the midrib from which occur many lateral veins and thin veinlets.

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