Leaf Margins


  • Entire - a smooth margin with no indentations or incisions.
  • Crenulate - margins with small rounded or blunt teeth, diminutive of crenate.
  • Serrate - margins with pointed teeth directed forward, towards the apex of the leaf.
  • Crenate - margins with shallow rounded or blunt teeth.
  • Dentate - margins with pointed teeth directed outward, perpendicular to the midrib.


  • 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.


© Tom Lebsack 2020