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Perolina, Sjhon Miguel W.

Leaves usually calls to mind foliage - large, flat, green structures involved in photosynthesis.
Leaves are the most important organs of most vascular plants. Since plants are autotrophic,
they do not need food from other living things to survive but instead use carbon dioxide, water
and light energy, to create their own organic matter by photosynthesis of simple sugars, such as
glucose and sucrose.

I. External Structure of Foliage Leaves:

a. Leaf blade (lamina): the flat light-harvesting portion for concentrating
i. Simple leaf – has of blade of just one part.
ii. Compound leaf – has a blade divided into several individual parts
 Leaflets – small blades of a compound leaf
 Rachis – extension of the petiole
b. Petiole (stalk): holds the blade out into the light, prevents shading of leaf
blades by those above them.
i. If leaves are small or very long and narrow, self-shading is not a
problem, thus there may be no petiole. This leaf is called a Sessile leaf.
ii. If a life has a petiole present. It is called a Petiolate
c. Veins: bundle of vascular tissue, distribute water from the stem into the leaf
and simultaneously collect sugars produced by photosynthesis and carry
them to the stem for use or storage elsewhere.
i. Reticulate venation – netted pattern that basal angiosperms and
eudicots contain.
ii. Parallel venation – long strap-shaped leaves that monocots contain

II. Internal Structure of a Foliage Leave:

a. Epidermis: a waxy cuticle provide a protective barrier against mechanical
injury, water loss, and infection.
i. Transpiration – water loss through the epidermis
ii. The epidermis must be reasonably waterproof but simultaneously
translucent, and it must allow the entry of carbon dioxide.
iii. Leaf stomata are frequently sunken into epidermal cavities that
creates a small region of non-moving air.
iv. Leaf epidermis are often remarkably hairy, and trichomes affect leaf
biology in numerous ways. Having trichomes on leaves provide some
shade on the upper surface of the leaf, deflecting excessive sunlight,
an adaptation common in desert plants.
b. Mesophyll: the inner ground tissue of a leaf epidermis, containing many
i. Palisade parenchyma (palisade mesophyll): the main photosynthetic
tissue of most plants, separated slightly so that each cell has most of
its surface exposed to the intercellular spaces. Because carbon
dioxide dissolves into cytoplasm slowly, the large surface gives
maximum area for dissolution; tightly packed cells could not absorb
enough carbon dioxide for efficient photosynthesis.
ii. Spongy mesophyll: the lower portion of the leaf, open loose
aerenchyma that permits carbon dioxide to diffuse rapidly. If a
stomata were surrounded by closely packed cells, a molecule of
carbon dioxide might simply bounce off a cell and escape back out
the stomatal pore.
iii. Vascular tissues: simple conducting tissue
 Midrib – also called a midvein, from which lateral veins
emerge that branch into narrow minor veins.
 Minor veins – important for releasing water from xylem and
loading sugar into phloem
 Lateral veins – involved mostly in conduction
c. Petiole (stalk) – holds the blade out into the light, prevents shading of leaf
blades by those above them, extends from the stem to the base of the leaf.
III. Initiation and Development of Leaves

a. Basal Angiosperm and Eudicots: Leaves are produced only through the
activity of a shoot apical meristem. At the base of the meristem, cells just
interior to the protoderm grow outward forming a protrusion known as leaf
primordium that extends upward as a narrow cone, growing so rapidly that
it becomes taller than the shoot apical meristem.

b. Monocots: like those of eudicots, are initiated by the expansion of some shoot
apical meristem to form a leaf primordium. Apical meristem adjacent to the
primordium grow upward along with it, becoming part of the primordium and
giving it a hood-like shape.

IV. Morphology and Anatomy of Other Leaf Types

a. Succulent Leaves: Plants that have this kind of leaves can survive in the desert
habitat. Succulent leaves are thick and fleshy, a shape that reduces surface-
to-volume ratio and favors water conservation.
 Cylindrical
 Spherical
b. Sclerophyllous Foliage Leaves: These leaves are Feasible, and their hardness
makes them more resistant to animals, fungi, freezing temperatures, and
ultraviolet light. Such plants are sclerophyllous and the leaves are
sclerophylls. The Sclerenchyma is often present as a layer just below the
epidermis and in the bundle sheaths, altought the epidermis itself can be
composed of thick-walled cells.
c. Leaves of conifer: In almost all species of conifer, leaves are sclerohpylls; they
have thick cuticle, and their epidermis and hypodermis cells have thick walls.
Most conifer leaves contain unplatable chemical. Conifer leaves are always
simple, never compound, and have only a few forms. Conifer leaves are
mostly perennial, remaining on the stem for many years; consequently the
plants are evergreens.
d. Bud scales: One of the most common modification of leaves is their
evolutionary conversion into bud scales. Bud scales’ role is primarily
protection, not photosynthesis. They differ from that foliage leaves. Bud
scales are small and rarely compound so mechanical wind damage is not a
risk. Their petiole is either short or absent because they must remain close to
the stem and be folder over it
e. Spines: Spines are modified leaves of axillary buds. Spines have a distinct
structure related to their function. Spines have no blade and are needle
shaped; mutations that inhibit lamina formation and have been selectively
advantageous. No mesophyll parenchyma or vascular tissue is present; the
mesophyll instead consist of closely packed fibers. After fibers mature, they
deposit lignin in their walls, which makes them hard and resistant to decay
f. Tendrils: Another form of modified leaf. Tendrils grow indefinitely and contain
cells that are capable of sensing contact with an object. When the tendril
touches something, the side facing the object stops growing but the other side
continues to elongate, causing the tendril to coil around the object and use it
for support.
g. Leaves with Kranz Anatomy: A distinct type of leaf anatomy occurs in plants
that have a special metabolism called C4 photosynthesis. These leaves lack
palisade parenchyma and spongy mesophyll but have prominent bundle
sheaths composed of large chrolophyllous cells. Surrounding each sheath is a
ring of mesophyll cells that appear to radiate from the vascular bundle. These
leaves require the special Kranz Anatomy and adapts c4 plants to arid
Insect traps: The ability to trap and digest insect has evolved in several
families. Insectivory has evolved in plants that grow in habitat poor in
nitrates and ammonia; by digesting insects, platns obtain the nitrogen they
need for their amiuno acids and nucleotides. Trap leaves can be classified as
either active traps that move during capture or passive traps incapable of