Leaf Margins

This page is taken from the Northern Ontario Plant Database.


Entire - a smooth margin with no indentations or incisions.

Crenate - margins with shallow rounded or blunt teeth.

Serrate - margins with pointed teeth directed forward, towards the apex of the leaf.

Crenulate - margins with small rounded or blunt teeth, diminutive of crenate.

Dentate - margins with pointed teeth directed outward, perpendicular to the midrib.

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Double serrate - coarsely serrate margin with smaller teeth on the margins of larger teeth.

Denticulate - margins with small pointed teeth directed outward, perpendicular to the midrib, diminutive of dentate.

Broad-crenate - margins with widely spaced, rounded or blunt teeth, e.g., many violets (Viola, Violaceae).

Serrulate - margins with small pointed teeth directed forward, towards the apex of the leaf, diminutive of serrate.

Erose - with margins appearing gnawed, indentations shallow and irregular.

Revolute - with margins rolled inward on the lower surface of the leaf.

Involute - with margins rolled inward on the upper surface of the leaf.

Ciliate - with hairs projecting out from the leaf margin.

Spinescent - (also spinose) with stiff acuminate spines along the blade margin.

Repand - margins with very shallow indentations, cut less than 1/16 the distance to the midrib.

Undulate - margins with shallow indentations, wavy in a vertical plane.

Sinuate - margins with shallow wavy indentations, cut 1/16 to ? the distance to the midrib.

Lobed - (pinnately or palmately) with rounded lobes and rounded sinuses cut ½ to ¼ the distance to the midrib.

Cleft - (pinnately or palmately) with rounded lobes and convex or straight sinuses cut ¼ to ½ the distance to the midrib.

Parted - (pinnately or palmately) with lobes cut ½ to ¾ the distance to the midrib.



Palmatifid - (palmately divided) with lobes cut palmately ¾ to almost completely to the midrib.

Pinnatifid - (pinnately divided) with lobes cut pinnately ¾ to almost completely to the midrib.

Incised - jagged margins cut sharply and deeply.

Lacerate - margins irregularly cut, appearing torn.

Pectinate - pinnately divided into fine, parallel segments, comb- or feather-like.

Dissected - with narrow divisions finely subdivided into many smaller segments.


© Tom Lebsack 2018