Ornamental Sweet Potato
All leaves have their own personality, especially the ones from different plants. The above three leaves have three or five lobes, but on closer examination are quite different. The Passion Flower leaf reaches its veins into each of the three lobes and has parallel veins, while the Sweet Potato treats each lobe as part of the larger leaf and does not have parallel veins. The colors of the Ivy almost obscure the veins in this leaf.
At the expense of not getting too technical in this post, I will describe some leaves and leave the others for you to notice the difference. It's only because of this post that I've started to recall some of my high school biology and look at leaves as individuals again. It's so easy to see the flowers and forget about the leaves that engender them.
Some leaves are more spectacular than the flower, as the above two. The Polka-dot leaf has veins that do not follow the pattern of the pink color, while the Caladium does. The Caladium looks as if its sap ran deep pink in the middle of the leaf.
Australian Tree Fern
Staghorn Fern Frond
Mother Fern Leaflet
The ferns are a world all their own. Leaflets grow off of the main stem in different shapes and sizes. The spores on the back of the Mother Fern leaflet can form new ferns. I love the gentle curve of this leaflet.
Boston Fern Leaf
But even ferns are similar to the leaves themselves, as in the two leaves shown above. The Yarrow may have a more complex form, but both leaves grow out from a central stem.
Plumbago Groundcover in Fall
These leaves show the different colors that leaves can have. The colors in the last two photos show on the leaves in different places, some year-round, some due to their exposure to the sun or the turning of leaves in fall. The succulents have no visible veins.
Hen and Chickens Succulent
Some leaves form a recognizable form, while others have their on creative chaos.
Two of my favorite leaves. Seen close the Forget-me-not has a wonderful contrast of colors. The various colors and the form of the oxalis speak for themselves.