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Leaves may also have more than one blade attached to a petiole. The separate, smaller blades are called "leaflets", and there may just be just a few, or many, depending on the kind of plant. The leaflets are attached to a central stalk called the rachis. How the leaflets are arranged is an important plant identification characteristic. The two most common patterns mimic the venation patterns of simple leaves, and are called palmate-compound (as in Schefflera or Octopus tree, Figure 26, and in Water Chestnut Tree, Figure 27), or pinnate-compound (as in Golden Shower Tree, Figure 28, and in African Tulip Tree, Figure 29).

Figure 26: Palmate Compound Leaf - ScheffleraFigure 26: Palmate Compound Leaf - Schefflera Figure 27: Palmate Compound Leaf - Water ChestnutFigure 27: Palmate Compound Leaf - Water Chestnut
Figure 28: Pinnate Compound Leaf - Golden Shower TreeFigure 28: Pinnate Compound Leaf - Golden Shower Tree Figure 29: Pinnate Compound Leaf - African Tulip TreeFigure 29: Pinnate Compound Leaf - African Tulip Tree


LEAVES (page 1) | SIMPLE LEAVES (page 2) | COMPOUND LEAVES (page 3) | PALM LEAVES (page 4)


Come to the World Botanical Gardens and see examples of all of these and more for yourself. Even better, click here to book a Guided Garden Tour or call our visitor center toll free at 888-947-4763. We are open from 9 to 5:30 every day of the year.

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