Parts of a Leaf

 

There are always three parts of a leaf to look for.  The most obvious would be the blade, which is the flat photosynthetic portion.  Attached to the blade is a petiole, if present.  This is the stalk that supports the blade.  At the base of the petiole as it attaches to the stem, there is a stipule.  It is a small growth that resembles a leaf.  It is not to be confused with an axillary bud.

 

tilialeaf1a.jpg (24883 bytes)

This is a leaf blade with a short petiole.  The small structure at the base of leaf and petiole is NOT a stipule.  It is an axillary bud.  So, always look for a blade and petiole, but also remember the stipule is like a small leaf.

stipule.jpg (65382 bytes)

This is a better representation of a real stipule.  It is not a bud, and it is leaf-like, but not an overly important part of the plant to its biology.