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Flower Leaf Identification - How To Know A Flower By Its Leaf

Author : Derek Farley

Springtime brings about a huge variety of newly budding plants. A walk through a flower garden will reveal plants that are common and easily identified by just looking at them. But others aren't so easy to recognize. Flowers are known for their beauty, the vibrant colors and the fragrant smells. Most people identify them by those characteristics alone, but there are other distinctions as well. You can also identify flowers by their leaf pattern.

Flowering plants are generally placed into two groups, moncots and dicots. Although these two groups have many differing characteristics one of the easiest ways to identify the group is by their leaves. Moncots have leaves with veins that run parallel such as tulips, and dicots have veins that are netted, such as roses. The leaves of a flowering plant carry an important part in its life. This is where the nutrition for the plant is provided and allows it to grow through a process called photosynthesis.

Energy for the plant comes from sunlight on the leaf which turns into sugar, a food for the plant. The veins of a leaf work much the same way as in a human. Veins carry the life blood of the plant. Since the leaf is such an important part of the plant, it is no surprise they are distinct in the qualities of the plant. Identification of an unknown flower takes some practice. Leaves are placed on a flower stem in several different patterns. Alternate patterns are singular on one side of the stem at the node, and the next node down the leaf is on the opposite side of the stem. Opposite patterns are paired across from each other on the stem.

Whorled patterns are three of more leaves at each node on a stem, and Rosulate patterns form a rosette beneath the flower. Leaves also come in multiple shapes and sizes. They can be jagged, or rounded, or sharply tapered to a point. Lupine flowers have a leaf pattern that is fanned out in a finger shape, while Iris's leaves are sharply pointed and smooth. Roses have jagged edges and the obvious thorns on their stems.

Another thing to note when identifying a plant is the color and texture of the leaf itself. Hostas generally have broad, smooth leaves, in a brilliant green, while Lamb's ears are soft, fuzzy, and a gray color. Flowers are aesthetically pleasing to look out, smell and photograph. Once you learn to identify them, not only by the bloom but by the leaf, you will have widely broadened your botanical knowledge.

Author's Resource Box

You can get much more information and resources about leaf identification at Leaf Identification.

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Tags:   flower leaf, flower leaf identification, leaf identification, leaf pattern, flower garden

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Submitted : 2011-02-15    Word Count : 462    Times Viewed: 302