Leaves adapt to en­vi­ron­ment

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE BUSINESS - WILL WATER­FORD Owner of Caloun­dra Gar­den and Pet Sup­plies

LEAVES come in many shapes and tex­tures, and all have de­vel­oped to suit the par­tic­u­lar en­vi­ron­ment in which they live.

Conifer leaves are typ­i­cally nee­dle shaped, so when it snows it will fall off them eas­ily.

A frond is typ­i­cally the type of leaf that ferns grow, the leaf looks like a sin­gle stem con­nect­ing to leaves on ei­ther side, but it is ac­tu­ally one. To re­pro­duce, ferns de­velop spores, so hav­ing a di­vided leaf gives them flex­i­bil­ity to with­stand be­ing knocked off, and in the lit­tle gaps, mois­ture col­lects giv­ing it ex­tra wa­ter.

Sun­light is im­por­tant to a plant’s growth, so one that has large leaves is typ­i­cally shade lov­ing and has de­vel­oped to catch as much of the sun as pos­si­ble.

On the other side, Cacti have a mod­i­fied leaf called a spine, which are so hard that they don’t lose any wa­ter to evap­o­ra­tion.

Then there are the leaves we see ev­ery day, from gar­de­nias to or­anges, they have de­vel­oped to grow in a mid­dle-of-the-range sunny cli­mate. Na­ture does some won­der­ful things.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LIGHT SHINES THROUGH: Fig leaf.

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