Botanical Words Alphabetical List - LE
LEACH: To wash or drain by trickling water through; to treat by downward drainage, as rain washing away nutrients from the soil.
LEACHING: The process of losing nutrients or salts from the soil through percolation or treating by downward drainage.
LEADER: The main or terminal shoot of a plant, such as the topmost point of a fir or larch tree or the strongest shoot of a young fruit tree.
LEAF: These grow along the sides of branches or stems or at the bases of the plants. Most are green and contain chlorophyll, though they vary in their shapes and sizes. They are the part of the plant that ordinarily performs photosynthesis, the process that converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy. It is common for leaves to grow, fall off, and be replaced. Plants entering dormancy may lose all their leaves. Maples, for example, drop their leaves in autumn and replace them in the spring and summer.
LEAFBUD: A bud producing a stem and leaf, unlike a flowerbud, which contains a blossom.
LEAF CUTTING: A cutting made from a single leaf.
The photo to the right shows a single leaf from a succulent plant that has begun to grow roots. The leaf had been knocked off the plant accidentally and dropped to the soil below where it sprouted its roots. When purposely trying to root a succulent leaf, the leaf should simply be placed on top of clean sand, where it will begin to root after a week or so. Once there is a sufficient amount of roots formed, fill a tiny pot halfway with sandy soil and the rest with clean sand. Make a small hole in the sand with your finger and gently set the leaf (root end down) in the depression. Very gently push some sand grains over the roots and sprits with water. The leaf will soon sprout leaves from the base of the plant, as you can see in the photo to the right. Eventually, the mother leaf will die and you'll have your new, baby plant.
LEAFLET: A subdivision of a compound leaf.
LEAF MOLD: This is a compost of decayed leaves. It is made by piling leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs together and allowing them to rot. The pile should be trodden firm and the leaves should be wet. Every 6 months or so, the pile should be turned over so the outer section of the pile is in the center. It takes a year and a half to two years for the leaves to decompose enough to use for leaf mold.
LEAF PLANT: A plant grown for its decorative foliage.
LEAF SCAR: A mark left on the stem where a leaf has been lost or removed. It can easily be seen on Palms where old leaves have been shed.
LEAF SCORCH: This may be caused by dryness, high temperatures, disease, or lack of certain elements in the soil. The foliage looks as if its been dried by heat.
LEAFSTALK: The stalk that attaches a leaf to the stem or branch; the petiole.
LENTICEL: A lens-shaped body of cells, formed on the outside of a woody plant stem, which serves in the exchange of gases between the stem and the outer air.
LENTICELLATE: Pertaining to or having lenticels.
LENTICULAR: Resembling a lentil or a double-convex lens, as some seeds.
LENTIGINOUS: Covered with minute dots; freckled; speckled.
LEPIDOTE: Covered with dry scales or scaly spots.
LEPROSE: Having scaly or dry scales.
LEVEL: To prepare soil for planting by raking gently.
LEVEL TERRACE: An embankment, constructed on a contour, which cuts horizontally across the slope. A means of creating a level area on hillsides or slopes.
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