The palm leaf is a complex expression of diversity within a single organ, related to the primary function of photosynthesis. Complexity arises as a consequence of the frequent large size and longevity of palm leaves. The palm leaf also has an unusual method of blade development because an initially simple, undissected structure becomes compound. This chapter discusses the following: the basic construction the palm leaf, size and shape, petiole length, leaf sheath, and lamina anatomy (lamina symmetry, epidermis, cuticle and wax, trichomes, the stomatal complex, hypodermis, expansion cells, mesophyll, fibre bundles, vascular bundles and ribs, longitudinal veins, transverse veins, and ribs).
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