Leaf shape

Flora of Australia Glossary — Vascular Plants

Compiled by A. McCusker


Leaf shape

acicle: a slender, stiff, needle-like prickle. adj. acicular.

cuneate: wedge-shaped.

elliptic: oval in outline, widest at the centre.

filiform: thread-like.

flabellate (= flabelliform): fan-shaped.

lanceolate: of a leaf, about four times as long as it is broad, broadest in the lower half and tapering towards the tip.

linear: very narrow in relation to the length, and with the sides parallel. cf. lorate.

oblong: a two-dimensional shape, having the length greater than the width but not many times greater, and the sides parallel.

obovate: similar in shape to ovate but attached at the narrower end.

orbicular: circular or nearly so.

ovate: a two dimensional shape, like a section through the long axis of an egg, and attached by the wider end.

reniform: kidney-shaped.

spathulate (= spatulate): spoon-shaped; broad at the tip and narrowed towards the base.

subulate: narrow and tapering gradually to a fine point.