Leaves - 1 Leaves are best known as the photosynthetic organs of plants, and much of the leaf "architecture" reflects this function. Leaves are part of the plant's shoot system, attached to stems at nodes. The regions along the stem between leaves are internodes. Leaves exhibit far more variation in shape (morphology) than do stems and roots. Leaf shape, size, venation pattern, margins, tips and bases are all used in identification of plant species (with appropriate vocabulary). Most leaves, however, have two common features: the blade (or lamina), the flattened portion of the leaf, and the petiole, or leaf stalk, which attaches the leaf to the stem. Leaves that do not have a petiole are sessile, and often sheath the stem at the base of the leaf. Stipules, small leaf-like growths near the base of the petiole, may or may not be present. Buds are located in the axil of a leaf with the stem. Leaf morphology varies in monocots and eudicots, too, with monocots generally
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