If you haven’t already, check out Part I to learn about leaf parts and arrangements.
Here we are going to discuss leaf margins and their shapes.
The margin of a leaf is the edge of the leaf. You’ll have to be close to a leaf to be able to see the margin. It’s one of the fine details that can differ leaves from one another.
An entire margin is smooth throughout and toothless.
Serrated leaves have margins with teeth that point forward.
Double serrated leaves are like serrated leaves but the serrated margins have serrations themselves.
Dentate margins have symmetrical teeth.
Crenate margins have rounded teeth.
Sinuate margins have wave-like indentations.
There are other margins types that get more specific but these are some of the main ones you should know.
There are a lot of different types of leaf shapes. Here are some of the most common ones.
Orbicular leaves are almost completely round.
Oblong leaves are at least twice as long as it is wide.
Deltoid leaves are triangular in shape.
Lobed leaves have deeply indented margins. Leaves can also be shallowly lobed, like maples and some oaks.
Ovate leaves are egg-shaped and usually have a wider base. The opposite is obovate. These leaves are wider near the tip and narrow at the base.
Cordate leaves are heart shaped. The opposite of a cordate is an Obcordate. An obcordate is a reverse heart shape where the point of the heart is connected to the petiole.
Linear leaves are elongated and have parallel margins. They are often longer than they are wide.
An oblique leaf refers to the base of the leaf where it is uneven or crooked.
In Part III we will talk evergreens and their leaves.
–The Description of Leaves
-Profant, Dennis. Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of Southeastern Ohio and Appalachia. By Bill Perine. 4th ed. N.p.: n.p., 2007. 155. Print.