One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small modified leaf, especially a colourless membranous one, such as on a rhizome or forming part of a bulb.
- ‘On reaching the top of a tree, the growing point descends, progressively changing its morphology and leaf structure, and eventually assuming a very thin filiform shape with only scale leaves on the soil.’
- ‘Each GU can be identified by the existence of morphological markers in the form of scale leaf and assimilating leaf scars alternately distributed along the aerial axes.’
- ‘The scale leaves are under the tunic and hold all the nutrients needed to grow the cultivar.’
- ‘For example, a scale leaf that is able to support greater rates of water loss may have a higher total productivity than a much larger leaf that requires high surface resistances.’
- ‘Later, when trees reach the adult stage, leaf primordia differentiate into scale leaves, and photosynthetic activity is shifted to long needles differentiated on short shoots.’
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