Last updated: June 14, 2021

What Does Leaflet Mean?

In botany, a leaflet is part of a compound leaf. Specifically, a compound leaf is constructed of two or more leaflets, often three or five, although in some plants many more.

Clover, black locus, and walnut are all compound leaves comprised of three or more leaflets. Fern is also an example of a compound leaf made of multiple leaflets on a single stalk or leaf. Cannabis plants have compound leaves with serrate leaflets, meaning leaflets that are notched and toothed at the edges.

An aspen is an example of a simple leaf that is not comprised of multiple leaflets.

cannabis leaflet


Maximum Yield Explains Leaflet

In terms of plant growth, photosynthesis and transpiration occur exactly the same way in compound leaf plants of multiple leaflets and the simple-leafed plants. However, the compound leaves have a slight advantage over the simple leaves because the compound leaves often have much longer petioles (the green stalk part that connects a leaf to the stem of the plant).

Because of this, a plant with longer petioles, like cannabis plants, is better able to direct or place the leaf in direct sunlight, or, in the case of indoor grow rooms, artificial light sources. The greater the available surface to collect sunlight, the better able a plant is to gather sunlight and produce energy.

In cannabis cultivation, the first pair of leaves that shoot up from a seedling usually have a single leaflet. This number gradually increases up to a maximum of around 13 leaflets per leaf, with the average being seven to nine leaflets, depending on the strain/variety and the growing conditions. At the top of a flowering marijuana plant, the number of leaflets drops down to a single leaflet per leaf.


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