Types and Usage

There are mainly 6 types of leaves.

1. Alternate Leaf Arrangement:

Examples of trees and shrubs with an alternate leaf arrangement:

– Barberry

– Black walnut (Juglans nigra).

– Japanese zelkova

– Ninebark

– Smoke bush

– Sweetgum

2. Opposite Leaf Arrangement:

Examples of trees and shrubs with an opposite leaf arrangement:

– Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). The ash tree has a compound leaf, which is also composed of leaflets arranged oppositely.

– Fringe tree

– Maple trees (Acer spp.)

– Olive trees

– Viburnums

3. Whorled Leaf Arrangement:

Examples of trees and shrubs with a whorled leaf arrangement:

– Blackboard tree

– Japanese clethra

– Lemonwood

– Mountain laurel

– Panicle hydrangea

– Red Vein enkianthus

4. Basal Arrangement:

Many perennial plants are trimmed back to new basal foliage once the older foliage starts to look tired and worn. Examples of perennials that send up new basal growth later in the growing season are Geranium, Polemonium, and Pulmonaria.

5. Rosette Arrangement:

Rosettes often referred to as basal rosettes, occur in acaulescent plants, such as the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) in the sunflower/aster family (Asteraceae).

Many biennial plants, such as carrots (Daucus carota) and poison hemlock (Coniummaculatum) in the carrot family (Apiaceae), will produce a basal rosette during the first year of growth, followed by the production of a flowering stem with alternate leaves the second year.

6. Distichous Arrangement:

Distichous phyllotaxis, also called “two-ranked leaf arrangement” is a special case of either opposite or alternate leaf arrangement where the leaves on a stem are arranged in two vertical columns on opposite sides of the stem.

Examples include various bulbous plants such as Boophone. It also occurs in other plant habits such as those of Gasteria or Aloe seedlings, and also in some mature Aloe species such as Aloe plicatilis.


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