Leaf Morphology: Venation Botanical Terms: pinnate venation

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Leaf Morphology: Venation

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Category: Morphology Photo Glossary


Created: Monday, 29 August 2011


Last Updated: Friday, 06 June 2014

LEAVES | Complexity | Arrangement | Shape | Venation | Apices | Bases | Margins | Lobes

TWIGS | Bud Types | Bud Scales | Scars | Surface | Pith

FRUITS | Types

 

Leaf Morphology: Venation

the arrangement of primary, secondary, and tertiary veins on a leaf

Pinnate a single midrib and secondary veins branching off at intervals
Palmate 3 or more primary veins arising near the base of the blade and spreading out like a fan
Pinnipalmate intermediate between pinnate and palmate; the lowermost pair of secondary veins is slightly larger
Parallel many equal veins running in the same direction and joining at the apex
Dichotomous repeated forking or Y-branching

 

Hold cursor over photos to view species name and info

 

Pinnate

a single midrib and secondary veins branching off at intervals

  • Juglandaceae Carya myristiciformis - nutmeg hickory: Leaflet with minute scales visible beneath.
  • Cornaceae Cornus florida - flowering dogwood: Leaves, opposite, simple, characteristic venation arching back towards leaf center, netted between primary veins.
  • Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana - common persimmon: Leaves, alternate, simple.
  • Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia - American beech: Leaf, alternate, simple, parallel veins each ending in a small tooth.
  • Rhamnaceae Frangula caroliniana - Carolina buckthorn: Leaves, alternate, simple, distinct elliptical to oval shape.
  • Styracaceae Halesia diptera - two-wing silverbell: Leaf, alternate, simple, oval in shape, margin wavy to entire, prominently acuminate tip.
  • Grossulariaceae Itea virginica - Virginia sweetspire: Leaf, alternate, simple, oval shaped, serrate to serrulate margin.
  • Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera - yellow-poplar: Leaf, alternate, simple, truncate apex with two basal lobes form a distinct shape. Sometimes smells spicy when crushed.
  • Euphorbiaceae Triadica sebifera - Chinese tallowtree: Leaf, alternate, simple, rhombic in shape.
  • Ulmaceae Ulmus rubra - slippery elm: Leaf, alternate, simple, elliptically shaped, doubly serrate, very sandpapery (scabrous) both above and below.

 

Palmate

3 or more primary veins arising near the base of the blade and spreading out like a fan

  • Aceraceae Acer floridanum - Florida maple: Leaf, opposite, simple.
  • Aceraceae Acer palmatum - Japanese maple: Leaves, opposite, simple, with double samaras visible.
  • Aceraceae Acer rubrum - red maple: Leaf, opposite, simple, serrated margin.
  • Fabaceae Cercis canadensis - eastern redbud: Leaf, alternate, simple, showing distinct heart shape (cordate).
  • Hamamelidaceae Liquidambar styraciflua - sweetgum: Leaf, alternate, simple, five-lobed, smells of turpentine when crushed.

 

Pinnipalmate

intermediate between pinnate and palmate; the lowermost pair of secondary veins is slightly larger

  • Ulmaceae Celtis laevigata - sugarberry: Leaves, alternate, simple, inequilateral leaf base, distinct primary veins forming a 'W'.
  • Menispermiaceae Cocculus carolinus - Carolina coralbead: Leaf, alternate, simple, roughly three-lobed.
  • Tiliaceae Tilia americana var. caroliniana - Carolina basswood: Leaves, alternate, simple, cordate in shape, margin coarsely serrate.
  • Vitaceae Vitis aestivalis - summer grape: Leaf, alternate, simple, ranging in size and shape, from round and unlobed to deltoid and lobed.

 

Parallel

many equal veins running in the same direction and joining at the apex

  • Poaceae Arundinaria gigantea - giant cane: Grass, leaves forming sheaths around stalk.
  • Arecaceae Sabal minor - dwarf palmetto: Leaves, alternate, palmately compound, fan shaped leaves emerge from a stem that is often not visible.
  • Agavaceae Yucca louisianensis - Louisiana yucca: Leaves, spirally arranged from inconspicuous stem. Each leaf sword-like with a sharp point at the apex.

 

Dichotomous

repeated forking or Y-branching

  • Ginkgoaceae Ginkgo biloba - ginkgo: Leaf, alternate, simple, clustered on spur shoots, flabellate (fan-like) shape, with dichotomous venation.
  • Ginkgoaceae Ginkgo biloba - ginkgo: Leaf, alternate, simple, clustered on spur shoots, flabellate (fan-like) shape, with dichotomous venation.

All definitions are from J. W. Hardin, D. J. Leopold, and F. M. White. (2001). Harlow & Harrar’s Textbook of Dendrology. Ninth edition. McGraw Hill, New York, New York, 534 pp. ISBN: 0073661716.

LEAVES | Complexity | Arrangement | Shape | Venation | Apices | Bases | Margins | Lobes

TWIGS | Bud Types | Bud Scales | Scars | Surface | Pith

FRUITS | Types


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