Petiole

Definition - What does Petiole mean?

The petiole of a plant refers to the location where a stem or leaf blade attaches to the stalk or stem. It is considered a transitional part of a plant.

The petiole is also considered a supportive structure of the plant. Petrioles can be soft and spongy, or rigid.

The origin of the word petiole can be traced to the Latin word petiolus, or peciolus which translates into 'little foot’.

MaximumYield explains Petiole

Another way to think of the petiole is as a stalk that joins a leaf to a stem. Another name for the petiole is leafstalk.

The petiole of the plant serves an important function in a plant’s life. It helps conduct energy that the leaves absorb from the sun using photosynthesis to all parts of the plant. It also transports water and nutrients that are gathered by the plant’s roots and transported up the stalk to the petioles and then to the leaves.

During fall, a corky material known as an abscission layer is formed between the petiole and the stem of the plant. The abscission layer cuts off the flow of nutrients to the leaf. When the layer is finished growing, the petiole and the leaf are deprived from all nutrients. The leaves die and fall from the plant.

Some plants have leaves that lack a petiole. In these cases, leaves that do not have any petioles are called sessile or epetiolate.

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