Botany online 1996-2004. No further update, only historical document of botanical science!


Compound Leaves



A compound leaf consists of several, separated segments called leaflets. The leaflets are usually grouped in pairs around the elongated rhachis that corresponds to the midrib of a normal leaf.

Imparipinnate: Several paired leaflets with an unpaired terminal central leaflet (example to the left: rose)
Trifoliolate: One pair of leaflets and a terminal leaflet (to the right, typical in clover species)
Peltately pinnate: The blade of a leaf with a peltate outline is pinnate, the basal leaflet is inserted across the leaf stalk
(lower picture, example: lupin)

Palmate: with more than three leaflets arising from a single point, as in the fingers of a hand. The midrib is not elongated. (example below: chestnut; Aesculus hippocastanaeum).

Bipinnate: The primary leaflets themselves are divided in a pinnate manner (to the left, example: Common Meadow Rue; Thalictrum flavum)
Multipinnate: Typical for numerous umbels (to the right)
Interruptedly pinnate: Among large pairs of pinnate leaflets sit smaller ones (picture below, typical for many Rosaceae)

Paripinnate: The terminal leaflet does not develop, atrophies and may end as a hardly discernible prickle (example: Gleditschia tricanthos)

© Peter v. Sengbusch - Impressum