How do leaves grow?

By The Old House Web

How do leaves grow?


The bud scales that protect the leaves during the winter open in the spring so leaves can expand. The cells of the young leaf are produced by meristems, which increase the thickness and width of the leaf blade. Leaf structure and orientation depend on the amount of light striking the leaf blade.

What are leaf functions?

The primary function of the leaf is to manufacture the sugars that all other parts of the plant require. The chloroplasts manufacture sugar and give the leaves their green color. A network of veins supplies the chloroplasts with water and nutrients and provide a route for movement of the manufactured sugars to other parts of the plant. Pores, called stomates, regulate the flow of air into, and water vapor out of, the leaf. As water evaporates from leaf tissue, cooling the leaf, additional water is pulled up through the plant by tension on water in the xylem. A waxy coating, called cuticle, protects the epidermal layer -- the outermost layer of cells -- and helps prevent excessive moisture loss.

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