When trying to identify or describe plants, it's helpful to be able to give specific details about the leaves. I know some of the basic shapes, but would like to learn what to call the different parts.

I'm hoping for a comprehensive description of each feature, including common and botanical terminology. Illustrations or links to pictures would be great too!

  • Might be a question for biology though this is also studied in horticulture Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 4:07

2 Answers 2


leaf layers





Hope this is what you were looking for. These pictures are all from the site of the Colorado Master Gardener Program. (There's much more extensive information there than I can copy here.) They have more diagrams, and the explanation are very good. You can also print them out:


This one gives definitions using examples of different leaves:


This one is cute. You can test yourself after each section to see if you really get it:


  • Thanks Diane! This is truly excellent, what I was looking for and more. I'm sure all this work you've done will help a lot of people! Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 1:23
  • 1
    Sue- I'm glad! I can never remember all of the names, so I saved this post to myself. Figured it would be easier with the the diagrams in one place than having to look it up all the time.
    – Diane
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 13:53

I think this question is too generic, so I'll give you a generic answer:

check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf : it is very precise on terminology.

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