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Leaf or leaflet shape

The shape of the leaf blade (or leaflet blade in the case of compound leaves). Where the widest part of the leaf or leaflet occurs is particularly important eg. near the middle in elliptic leaves, nearer the base in lanceolate leaves and nearer the apex in obovate leaves.


L61 linear, thread-like (filiform), needle-like (acicular)

L62 oblong

Having the length greater than the width but not many times greater, and the sides parallel.

L63 lanceolate

Broader in the lower half and tapering towards the tip.

L64 elliptic

Oval in outline, widest at the centre.

L65 falcate

Sickle-shaped.

L66 rhomboid

Four-angled, with the side angles somewhat rounded.

L67 ovate

Egg-shaped, with the broadest point towards the base and narrowing to tip. Attached to stem at the broadest end.

L68 orbicular

Circular or nearly so.

L69 obovate or oblanceolate

Obovate is egg-shaped, but attached to stem at narrowest end.

Oblanceolate is broader in the upper half and tapering towards the base.

L70 triangular, cordate or palmate

Triangular is triangle-shaped, where the base is abruptly angled back towards to petiole.

Cordate is heart-shaped, with a broad and notched base.

Palmate is divided into several leaflets or deep lobes where they all arise at the same point.

L71 cuneate or obtriangular

Cuneate or obtriangular is wedge-shaped, gradually tapering from the base to a broad tip, as if the tip is cut-off.