Basswood Leaf

Photo Fact Sheets

  • 2050+ High Resolution Photos
  • 205+ Woody Species
  • Searchable, Sortable, Downloadable

Quiz Logo

Interactive Quizzes

  • Identify Photos
  • Practice Scientific Names
  • Learn Morphology

Morphology Logo

Photo Glossary

  • Illustrated Photos
  • Learn Morphology
  • Real Examples Shown

LEAVES | Complexity | Arrangement | Shape | Venation | Apices | Bases | Margins | Lobes

TWIGS | Bud Types | Bud Scales | Scars | Surface | Pith

FRUITS | Types

 

Leaf Morphology: Shape

the overall outline of the leaf blade (around all leaflets for compound leaves)

Acicular needlelike
Subdulate awn- or awl-shaped; sharp-pointed and usually short (<1/2 inch)
Scale Small and sharp, broadened at the base, appressed and imbricated
Linear many times longer than broad, approximately parallel sides
Oblong longer than broad with parallel sides
Lanceolate lance-shaped; widest about 1/3 from the base, tapering to apex
Oblanceolate reverse of lanceolate (switch the base and apex when you add ob-)
Ovate egg-shaped, widest below the middle
Obovate reverse of ovate
Elliptical like an ellipse, widest at the center
Oval broadly elliptical, width is greater than half the length
Orbicular circular or nearly so
Reniform kidney-shaped, heart-shaped, broad as long with a cordate base
Deltate triangular, delta-shaped
Rhombic diamond-shaped
Spatulate shaped like a spatula, broad apex tapering to base
Flabellate fan-shaped

 

Hold cursor over photos to view species name and info

 

Acicular

needlelike

  • Pinaceae Pinus echinata - shortleaf pine: Needles, two or three per fascicle, shortest of the pines native to East Texas.
  • Pinaceae Pinus elliottii - slash pine: Needles, typically 3 per fascicle, similar in length to loblolly pine.

 

Subdulate

awn- or awl-shaped; sharp-pointed and usually short (<1/2 inch)

  • Cupressaceae Juniperus virginiana - eastern redcedar: Both scale-like adult foliage (right) and awl-like juvenile foliage (center) are visible.

 

Scale

Small and sharp, broadened at the base, appressed and imbricated

  • Cupressaceae Juniperus virginiana - eastern redcedar: Scale-like adult foliage.

 

Linear

many times longer than broad, approximately parallel sides

  • Salicaceae Salix babylonica - weeping willow: Leaf, alternate, simple, linear in shape.
  • Salicaceae Salix nigra - black willow: Leaves, alternate, simple, linear.
  • Cupressaceae Taxodium distichum - bald cypress: Needles, deciduous branchlets alternately arranged on the twig.

 

Oblong

longer than broad with parallel sides

  • Fagaceae Quercus phellos - willow oak: Leaf, alternate, simple, unlobed, bristle-tipped, narrowest of the unlobed oaks.

 

Lanceolate

lance-shaped; widest about 1/3 from the base, tapering to apex

  • Smilacaceae Smilax smallii - lanceleaf greenbrier: Leaf, alternate, simple, elliptical to lanceolate in shape.

 

Oblanceolate

reverse of lanceolate (switch the base and apex when you add ob-)

  • Fagaceae Quercus incana - bluejack oak: Leaf, simple, alternate, unlobed, bristle tipped, bluish-white fuzz on back side of leaf.
  • Fagaceae Quercus laurifolia - laurel oak: Leaves, alternate, simple, unlobed, bristle-tipped.

 

Ovate

egg-shaped, widest below the middle

  • Moraceae Maclura pomifera - osage-orange: Leaf, alternate, simple, acuminate tip.

 

Obovate

reverse of ovate

  • Annonaceae Asimina triloba - pawpaw: Leaves, alternate, simple obovate with acuminate tip.
  • Fagaceae Quercus michauxii - swamp chestnut oak: Leaves, alternate, simple, unlobed, with crenate margins, obovate shape, lighter colored beneath.

 

Elliptical

like an ellipse, widest at the center

  • Lauraceae Persea borbonia - redbay: Leaf, alternate, simple, smells spicy when crushed.
  • Ulmaceae Ulmus alata - winged elm: Leaf, alternate, simple, elliptically shaped, doubly serrate.

 

Oval

broadly elliptical, width is greater than half the length

  • Cornaceae Cornus florida - flowering dogwood: Leaves, opposite, simple, characteristic venation arching back towards leaf center, netted between primary veins.
  • Styracaceae Halesia diptera - two-wing silverbell: Leaf, alternate, simple, oval in shape, margin wavy to entire, prominently acuminate tip.

 

Orbicular

circular or nearly so

  • Styracaceae Halesia diptera - two-wing silverbell: Leaf, alternate, simple, oval in shape, margin wavy to entire, prominently acuminate tip.
  • Vitaceae Vitis rotundifolia - muscadine grape: Leaf, alternate, simple, orbicular in shape, uniformly toothed, never reaching the maximum size that summer grape can attain.
  • Vitaceae Vitis rotundifolia - muscadine grape: Leaf, alternate, simple, orbicular in shape, uniformly toothed, never reaching the maximum size that summer grape can attain.

 

Reniform

kidney-shaped, heart-shaped, broad as long with a cordate base

  • Bignoniaceae Catalpa speciosa - northern catalpa: Leaf, simple, whorled, cordate, can be large, about 1 foot long.
  • Fabaceae Cercis canadensis - eastern redbud: Leaf, alternate, simple, showing distinct heart shape (cordate).
  • Tiliaceae Tilia americana var. caroliniana - Carolina basswood: Leaves, alternate, simple, cordate in shape, margin coarsely serrate.

 

Deltate

triangular, delta-shaped

  • Betulaceae Betula nigra - river birch: Leaf, alternate, simple, doubly serrate margins, deltoid shape.

 

Rhombic

diamond-shaped

  • Euphorbiaceae Triadica sebifera - Chinese tallowtree: Leaf, alternate, simple, rhombic in shape.

 

Spatulate

shaped like a spatula, broad apex tapering to base

  • Fagaceae Quercus nigra - water oak: Leaf, alternate, unlobed, bristle-tipped, shape variable from lanceolate to spatulate.

 

Flabellate

fan-shaped

  • Ginkgoaceae Ginkgo biloba - ginkgo: Leaf, alternate, simple, clustered on spur shoots, flabellate (fan-like) shape, with dichotomous venation.
  • Ginkgoaceae Ginkgo biloba - ginkgo: Leaf, alternate, simple, clustered on spur shoots, flabellate (fan-like) shape, with dichotomous venation.

All definitions are from J. W. Hardin, D. J. Leopold, and F. M. White. (2001). Harlow & Harrar's Textbook of Dendrology. Ninth edition. McGraw Hill, New York, New York, 534 pp. ISBN: 0073661716.

LEAVES | Complexity | Arrangement | Shape | Venation | Apices | Bases | Margins | Lobes

TWIGS | Bud Types | Bud Scales | Scars | Surface | Pith

FRUITS | Types

Hits: 47087

Site Statistics

Species: 207 | Genera: 122 | Families: 67

All Photos: 2063 | Leaf Photos: 622 | Twig Photos: 511 | Bark Photos: 353 | Fruit Photos: 274 | Photos per Species: 10.0

Other Links @ SFA

Contact Dr. Stovall | Stovall Lab @ SFAForestry @ SFA  | Silviculture @ SFA