Definition of perfoliate in US English:



  • 1(of a stalkless leaf or bract) extended at the base to encircle the node, so that the stem apparently passes through it.

    • ‘Of the five sections in Wolff's classification, only two are likely to be monophyletic: section Bupleurum (the species with perfoliate leaves: clade I; Figs 1-3) and section Reticulata (B. angulosum and B. stellatum).’
    1. 1.1 (of a plant) having perfoliate leaves.
      • ‘Common species include Virginia mountain mint, perfoliate boneset, and New England aster.’
      • ‘The actual story is this: Kew Gardens has been infiltrated by ‘yellowflowered perfoliate Alexanders’, which may sound rather nice, but which actually grow up to 1.5 metres tall and starve bluebells of light.’


Late 17th century: from modern Latin perfoliatus, from Latin per- ‘through’ + foliatus ‘leaved’.