In Acacia the petiole or any portion of the rachis becomes winged or flattened taking the shape of the leaf and turning green in color. This winged or flattened petiole or rachis is termed as the phyllode. The normal leaf that is pinnately compound develops in the young phase, but soon falls off. The phyllode then executes all the functions of the leaf. The wing of the phyllode generally develops in the vertical direction and hence sunlight can’t fall on its surface; this decreases evaporation of water. There are around 300 species of Australian Acacia, all exhibiting the phyllode.


Figure: Phyllode


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