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The description (partially pasted below) of Ramosmania rodriguesii in Verdcourt (1996) states that the leaves are up to 30 cm long. Does this length include both the lamina and petiole, or only the lamina?

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Reference (source of above paragraph): Verdcourt, B. (1996). Ramosmania rodriguesii Rubiaceae. Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 13(4), 204-209.

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According to "Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary" (Harris & Harris, 2001) [my emphases added]:

  • A leaf is "an expanded, usually photosynthetic organ of a plant"

    • A lamina is the "expanded portion" of a leaf
  • A petiole is a "leaf stalk" and a stalk is "the supporting structure of an organ, usually narrower in diameter than the organ."

I know you know the definitions here, but I'm using this as evidence that the petiole is often considered separate from the leaf itself.

I do not know of a flora, key, or guide that uses the petiole as part of the measurement.

Since Kew's Plants of the World Online lists this species as having 30 cm long leaves (and assuming they do not include the petiole as is common practice), I would assume your source likewise is not including the petiole.

Disclaimer: I have never seen Ramosmania rodriguesii, so I can't comment from personal experience/knowledge of this specific species. However, if typical measurement practices have been employed, I assume the petiole is excluded in leaf length measurements.

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No it doesn't these days. That description of the leaf excludes the petiole length. 38 including both.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey FYI, your link doesn't work. Please fix and also consider both quoting from and formally citing the source to avoid issues of broken links. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Dec 7 '20 at 20:30

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