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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pointy-Edged Leaves Versus Flat-Edged Leaves!

I grew up spending a lot of time hiking in the woods with my Dad and taking Sunday rides with my folks through the Blue Ridge Mountains. My Dad was an outdoor enthusiast and had a lot of knowledge about plants and animals and passed on his knowledge and love of the outdoors to me.

When I was in 7th grade, we were assigned a science project to collect and identify leaves. We were told to find around 20 if I remember correctly. I found over 40! I really had fun with this assignment and learned a lot! I used a photo album to house my finds and got a great grade to boot.

So it was with great interest that I read an article on the Discovery Channel about pointy-edged leaves versus flat-edged leaves. It turns out that leaves with pointy edges lose water more quickly through these 'teeth', which makes the sap run faster in the tree and starts the photosynthesis process in the leaf more quickly (a great trait to have if you are a tree growing in a colder climate). A bad trait to have if you are living in an arid area and there you tend to find more flat edged leaves. We seem to have a pretty even mix here in the foothills of Virigina. What do you have in your neck of the woods? Inquiring minds want to know!

2 Comments:

At 7:59 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Very interesting Melissa, I recently walked along a trail to Natural Bridge, they had all the trees labeled by what variety they were.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

The Trail of Trees over near Otter Lake also has labeled trees.

 

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