University of Illinois Home Contact
UI Plants Woody Ornamentals
Advanced Search
 Botanical Terminology Tutorial
Leaf Arrangement
Leaf Shape
Leaf Margin
Leaf Apex
Leaf Base
Take a Quiz


Leaf Shape: Scale-like
Click on the image for a larger view of the photo.
Click on the name for detailed information on the plant.

Enlarge Photo
Eastern Arborvitae
(Thuja occidentalis)
Enlarge Photo
Eastern Red Cedar
(Juniperus virginiana)
Enlarge Photo
Weeping Nootka Falsecypress
(Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula')



Leaf Shape: Scale-like

Leaves overlap alternating down the stem. Don't get fooled into only thinking of junipers when you think of scale-like foliage. Consider the following genera with similar foliage shape: Juniperus spp., Chamaecyparis nootketensis, Thuja occidentalis, as well as Platycladus orientalis.

Junipers often have two types of foliage, juvenile and adult. Both types can appear on one plant or only one feature may show. The juvenile leaves are typically awl-shaped and sharp. The adult foliage tends to be less sharp and scale-like.

Botanical Terminology > Leaf Shape > Spatulate  


2005 Gary J. Kling and Laura L. Hayden, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
External sites are not endorsed by the University of Illinois.

Notes about this tutorial.