A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants.

Typically a leaf is a thin, flattened organ borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis, but many types of leaves are adapted in ways almost unrecognisable in those terms: some are not flat (for example many succulent leaves and conifers), some are not above ground (such as bulb scales), and some are without major photosynthetic function (consider for example cataphylls, spines, and cotyledons).

Conversely, many structures of non-vascular plants, or even of some lichens, which are not plants at all (in the sense of being members of the kingdom Plantae), do look and function much like leaves. Furthermore, several structures found in vascular plants look like leaves but are not actually leaves; they differ from leaves in their structures and origins. Examples include phyllodes, cladodes, and phylloclades.

Read more about Leaves:  General Nature of Leaves, Large-scale Features (leaf Morphology), Seasonal Leaf Loss, Morphology, Adaptations, Interactions With Other Organisms, Bibliography

Other articles related to "leaves":

Cypripedium - Characteristics
... Most slipper orchids have an elongate erect stem, with leaves growing along its length ... has a short underground stem with leaves springing from the soil ... The often hairy leaves can vary from ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, folded along their length ...
Nikau - Uses
... The bases of the inner leaves were eaten raw or cooked, also the young flower clusters ... Food was wrapped in the leaves for cooking, and the old fibrous leaves were used for baskets, floor mats, and waterproof thatch for buildings ...
... become extremely hot, the hole is lined with traditional vegetation, such as banana leaves ... with herbs, stuffed with more hot rocks, then wrapped with ti and banana leaves ... to cook in the pit for six to seven hours, absorbing smoke and steam from the koa wood and banana leaves ...
... In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves ... Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less energy than other types of foods, and often toxic compounds ... may exhibit a strong preference for immature leaves, which tend to be higher in energy and protein and lower in fibre and poisons than more mature leaves ...
Tea Tree Oil - History and Extraction
... medicine by inhaling the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds ... They also sprinkle leaves on wounds, after which a poultice is applied ... In addition, tea tree leaves are soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments ...

Famous quotes containing the word leaves:

    My weary limbs are scarcely stretched for repose, before red dawn peeps into my chamber window, and the birds in the whispering leaves over the roof, apprise me by their sweetest notes that another day of toil awaits me. I arise, the harness is hastily adjusted and once more I step upon the tread-mill.
    —“E. B.,” U.S. farmer. As quoted in Feminine Ingenuity, by Anne L. MacDonald (1992)

    And then having ended this merry wedding,
    The bride looked as fresh as a queen;
    And so they returned to the merry greenwood,
    Amongst the leaves so green.
    —Unknown. Robin Hood and Allen-a-Dale (l. 105–108)

    We say ourselves fortunate to be driving by today.
    That we may look at them, in their gardens where
    The summer ripeness rots. But not raggedly.
    Even the leaves fall down in lovelier patterns here.
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)