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In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. For this purpose, a leaf is typically flat and thin, to expose the chloroplast containing cells  to light over a broad area, and to allow light to penetrate fully into the tissues. Leaves are also the sites in most plants where respiration, transpiration, and guttation take place. Leaves can store food and water, and are modified in some plants for other purposes. The comparable structures of ferns are correctly referred to as fronds.
As a stem grows, leaves tend to appear arranged around the stem in away that optimizes yield of light. In essence, leaves come off the stem in a spiral pattern, either clockwise or counterclockwise, with the same angle of divergence. 
Two basic forms of leaves can be described considering the way the blade is divided. A simple leaf has an undivided blade. However, the leaf shape may be one of lobes, but the gaps between lobes do not reach to the main vein. A compound leaf has a fully subdivided blade, each leaflet of the blade separated along a main or secondary vein. Because each leaflet can appear to be a "simple leaf", it is important to recognize where the petiole occurs to identify a compound leaf.
 
leaves-01.jpg (1843055 Byte) leaf leaves picture leaves-02.jpg (1289982 Byte) leaf picture leaves-03.jpg (1400633 Byte) leaf picture leaves-04.jpg (1363349 Byte) leaf picture
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leaves-05.jpg (1468270 Byte) picture leaf leaves-06.jpg (1064383 Byte) picture leaves leaves-07.jpg (1412573 Byte) picture leaves leaves-08.jpg (1438043 Byte) picture leaves
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leaf-09.jpg (1385582 Byte) picture leaves leaf-10.jpg (1245688 Byte) picture leaves leaf-11.jpg (1131706 Byte) picture leaves leaves-12.jpg (1440446 Byte) picture leaves
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nature tree green branch
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wall green red green plant
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green blue sky forest nature
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fern brown lake withered 
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plant nature lake  branch 
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plant nature green bush
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nature stones green rotten
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