Specialized Leaf

Topics: Leaf, Photosynthesis, Plant morphology Pages: 3 (503 words) Published: February 10, 2015
Specialized Leaf
Specimen
Modification
Function
Illustration
Tendrils
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Scientific Name:

Insect-trapping leaves
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Spines
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Storage Leaves
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Window leaves
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Floral leaves/ bract
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Succulent leaves
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1. Insect-Trapping Leaves—These plants are always attention grabbers and have intrigued folks for centuries. Plants that trap insects usually occur in swampy areas and bogs of tropical and temperate regions. Generally, the soil is lacking some vital ingredient for life and the plants utilize trapped insects and small organisms to fill the gap. The captured prizes are dissolved and absorbed by the plant. However, if insects are not available (i.e. a laboratory situation) the plants will develop if nutrients are given instead. The following four plants represent the four main mechanisms of capture.  

Pitcher Plants—drowning trap
Sundews—sticky trap
Venus Flytraps—hinged trap
Bladderworts—underwater trapdoor trap

1. Window Leaves—There are at least three members of the Carpetweed family in the Kalahari desert with unique adaptations to the sandy growing environment. These plants have leaves shaped like ice cream cones. The leaves are buried in the sand, leaving the transparent dime-sized tip of the leaf exposed at the surface. The transparent surface is covered with a thick epidermis and cuticle and has virtually no stomata. This arrangement allows light nearly direct access to the mesophyll with chloroplasts inside. The plant, for the most part, is buried and away from drying winds and abrasive blowing sands. There are other examples of succulent plants with window leaves.

1. Storage Leaves—Succulent leaves are leaves modified to retain and store water. Water...
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