Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Leaf shape

Leaf shape varies between orchid species and genera. The description of leaf shape is generalised and subjective. Leaves on a plant can vary in shape and size and between individuals. Users should take a relatively broad interpretation of leaf shape. When leaf margins are crinkled/wavy the leaf shape is best determined when flattened.

Linear/ensiform: long and narrow with margins more or less parallel, the tip usually pointed.

Lanceolate: longer than wide, widest toward the base, the apex tapered to a point.

Falcate: uniformly curved (sickle-shaped).

Ovate: like a longitudinal section through an egg - broader below the middle.

Deltatewith three sides and broadest below the middle (triangular).

Cordate: shaped like a heart, broadest toward the base with incurved basal margins.

Elliptic: oval and flat in a plane, broadest at the middle and tapered to each end.

Oblong: broad with margins straight and parallel.

Orbicular: circular or nearly so (round).

Obovate/spathulate: like a longitudinal section through an upside down egg -  broader above the middle. Resembling a spoon or spatula.

Reniformshaped like a kidney, generally wider than long with incurved basal margins.

Terete: like a slender, tapering cylinder, and more or less circular in any cross section.