Leaf Morphology

Leaf Shapes

The terminology shared here is but a very small amount of the possible shapes shown by leaves.  Click on this link in order to see a more complete aspect of this type of variation.
These are examples of long-tapered leaves. The bottom leaf is linear. It is long, tapered, and the sides are parallel.

lanceolateleaf.jpg (39854 bytes)

deltoid leaf.jpg (44840 bytes)

These are two examples of deltoid leaves.  The leaves are of Populus deltoides, the cottonwood, one an early leaf; the other  more mature.  This shows how leaf shape will vary depending upon the state of maturity.
These are better linear leaves with sides that are parallel. Most grasses have linear leaves.  

linearleaves.jpg (32380 bytes)

ovateleaf2.jpg (35920 bytes)

These are two examples of ovate leaves. They are supposed to be egg-shaped. There is some variation in how well one can determine this.
This is the leaf of the arrowhead, Sagittaria latifolia.  The genus name is after the shape of the leaf - sagittate.  The leaf is triangular with basal lobes pointing downward or concavely curved toward the stalk.

arrowhead.jpg (26505 bytes)

redbudleaf.jpg (34344 bytes)

This is heart-shaped leaf of Cercis canadensis, the redbud tree.  The term cordate applies to how the blade is notched at the point of the petiole.