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Botanical Terminology Tutorial
Leaf Arrangement
Leaf Shape
Leaf Margin
Leaf Apex
Leaf Base
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Alphabetical w/ Definitions

  1. Basal
    Beginning from the lower extremity of a plant part, as in leaves from the base of a stem.

  2. Base
    The bottom; the proximal (nearest the stem) portion of a leaf (See also Apex).

  3. Bipinnate
    Referring to a compound leaf where the pinnate leaflet has subdivided into smaller leaflets giving a more feather-like appearance.

  4. Blade
    In trees, shrubs, vines and grasses, blade refers to the individual leaf; often referred to as Lamina.

  5. Bloom
    White or waxy coating on the surface; also referred to as being glaucous.

  6. Bract
    A modified leaf that is frequently showy and thought of as part of a flower; appears below actual flowers.

  7. Branch
    A secondary stem that forks off of the main stem or trunk.

  8. Branchlet
    A diminutive version of a branch; a small branch-like twig.

  9. Broad-oval
    An ellipse that is less than twice as long as it is wide; Used often for habit and leaf but can be used for other descriptions.

  10. Broad-pyramidal
    Pyramid shaped or triangular with a wider base than pyramidal.

  11. Broad-rounded
    Nearly circular, but wider than tall.

  12. Bud
    The unexpanded next season’s growth of leaves and flowers; undeveloped leaves and shoots.

  13. Bud Scale
    One of the sheaths that cover a bud; There can be a few to very many;

  14. Bulbous
    A tree bud that is rounded or ‘bulb-like’.

  15. Bullate
    A raised blistered appearance between veins. Tissue near veins appears to pucker.

  16. Bundle Scar
    Refers to the vascular bundles that are found in the scar left behind on a stem after a leaf falls off (abscises).

Tutorial Terms

Leaf Apex

Leaf Arrangement

Leaf Base

Leaf Margin

Leaf Shape



©2005 Gary J. Kling, Laura L. Hayden, and Joshua J. Potts University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Notes about this tutorial.