The Meaning of Leaf Names in Latin or Greek

Etymology of Foliage, Leaf Types, Leaf Sizes, Leaf Shapes, and Leaf Colors

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The following words are used in plant names to describe the leaves or foliage of plants.

The basic Latin word for leaf is folium. Since folium is a neuter noun, the plural ends in "a" (folia). Botanically, folius is used as an adjective, as well. Foliatus, the masculine adjectival form of the Latin word for leaf, means "leaved." The feminine adjectival form is foliata and the neuter is foliatum.

For more on adjectives and the agreement between them and the noun they modify, see the page on names of flower parts.

If you're interested in picking up Latin vocabulary, strip the folius word from each entry on the following list. Example: In the case of acuminatifolius, stripping out folius leaves acuminat- plus a connecting vowel "i." Acuminat- is from the past participle of acumino, -are, -avi, -atus which translates into English as "to sharpen" or "to make sharp." Acuminat- may be familiar to you from the English word "acumen."

A

acuminatifolius (leaves tapering gradually to a point) acuminatifolia acuminatifolium

acutifolius (pointed leaves) acutifolia acutifolium

aequifolius (equal leaves) aequifolii aequifolium

afoliatus (without leaves) afoliata afoliatum

albifolius (white leaved) albifolia albifolium

alternifolius (alternating leaves) alternifolia alternifolium

amplexifolius (leaves clasped [amplector to wind around, surround]) amplexifolia amplexifolium

amplifolius (large leaved) amplifolia amplifolium

angustifolius (narrow leaved) angustifolia angustifolium

argutifolius (sharply toothed leaves) argutifolia argutifolium

auriculifolius (leaves like an ear auricula - the ear, diminutive) auriculifolia auriculifolium

B

bifoliatus (with two leaves) bifoliata bifoliatum

bipennifolius (two feathered leaves) bipennifolia bipennifolium

brevifolius (short leaved) brevifolia brevifolium

C

capillifolius (hairy leaved) capillifolia capillifolium

centifolius (100 leaves) centifolia centifolium

cerefolius (wax leaved) cerefolia cerefolium

chlorifolius (light green leaved) chlorifolia chlorifolium

confertifolius (dense leaved) confertifolia confertifolium

cordifolius (heart shaped leaves) cordifolia cordifolium

crassifolius (thick leaved) crassifolia crassifolium

cuneifolius (leaves tapered to the base) cuneifolia cuneifolium

curtifolius (shortened leaves) curtifolia curtifolium

cuspidifolius (stiff pointed leaves) cuspidifolia cuspidifolium

cymbifolius (boat shaped leaves) cymbifolia cymbifolium

D

densifolius (densely leaved) densifolia densifolium

distentifolius (distended leaves) distentifolia distentifolium

diversifolius (many shaped leaves) diversifolia diversifolium

E

ensifolius (sword shaped leaves) ensifolia ensifolium

exilifolius (small leaved) exilifolia exilifolium

F

falcifolius (sickle shaped leaves) falcifolia falcifolium

filicifolius (fern like leaves) filicifolia filicifolium

filifolius (thread like leaves) filifolia filifolium

flabellifolius (fan shaped leaves) flabellifolia flabellifolium

foliaceus (leafy, resembling a leaf) foliacea foliaceum

foliolosus (having small leaves) foliolosa foliolosum

foliosior (leafier) foliosior foliosius foliosissimus (leafiest) foliosissima foliosissimum

foliosus (leafy) foliosa foliosum

G

gracilifolius (slender leaved) gracilifolia gracilifolium

graminifolius (grass leaved) graminifolia graminifolium

grandifolius (large leaved) grandifolia grandifolium

I

integrifolius (leaves entire) integrifolia integrifolium

L

latifolius (broad leaved) latifolia latifolium

laxifolius (loose leaved) laxifolia laxifolium

linearifolius (linear leaves) linearifolia linearifolium

longifolius (long leaves) longifolia longifolium

M

millefoliatus (with 1,000 leaves) millefoliata millefoliatum

millefolius (1,000 leaved) millefolia millefolium

minutifolius (small leaved) minutifolia minutifolium

mucronifolius (sharp pointed leaves) mucronifolia mucronifolium

multifolius (many leaved) multifolia multifolium

O

oblongifolius (oblong leaves) oblongifolia oblongifolium

obtusifolius (blunt leaves) obtusifolia obtusifolium

oppositifolius (leaves opposite) oppositifolia oppositifolium

ovalifolius (oval leaves) ovalifolia ovalifolium

P

parvifolius (small leaves) parvifolia parvifolium

paucifolius (few leaved) paucifolia paucifolium

perfoliatus (leaves joined around stem) perfoliata perfoliatum

pinguifolius (fat leaves) pinguifolia pinguifolium

planifolius (flat leaved) planifolia planifolium

Q

quadrifolius (4 leaved) quadrifolia quadrifolium

R

rectifolius (erect leaves) rectifolia rectifolium

reflexifolius (reflexed leaves) reflexifolia reflexifolium

remotifolius (leaves distant from each other) remotifolia remotifolium

renifolius (kidney shaped leaves) renifolia renifolium

rhombifolius (diamond shaped leaves) rhombifolia rhombifolium

rotundifolius (round leaves) rotundifolia rotundifolium

rubrifolius (red leaves) rubrifolia rubrifolium

S

sagittifolius (arrow shaped leaves) sagittifolia sagittifolium

setifolius (with bristly leaves) setifolia setifolium

simplicifolius (simple leaved) simplicifolia simplicifolium

spathulifolius (spatula shaped leaves) spathulifolia spathulifolium

spiculifolius (spiky leaves) spiculifolia spiculifolium

subrotundifolius (leaves less round) subrotundifolia subrotundifolium

T

tenuifolius (slender leaved) tenuifolia tenuifolium

teretifolius (cylindrical leaves) teretifolia teretifolium

ternifolius (leaves in 3) ternifolia ternifolium

tortifolius (twisted leaves) tortifolia tortifolium

trifoliatus (3 leaved) trifoliata trifoliatum

trifoliolatus (trifoliolate) trifoliolata trifoliolatum

trifolius (3 leaves) trifolia trifolium

U

undulatifolius (wavy edged leaves) undulatifolia undulatifolium

unifoliatus (one leaf) unifoliata unifoliatum

unifolius (one leaf) unifolia unifolium

V

variifolius (variegated leaves) variifolia variifolium

villifolius (hairy leaves) villifolia villifolium

viridifolius (green leaved) viridifolia viridifolium

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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "The Meaning of Leaf Names in Latin or Greek." ThoughtCo, Feb. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/foliage-words-meaning-of-leaf-names-117905. Gill, N.S. (2017, February 10). The Meaning of Leaf Names in Latin or Greek. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/foliage-words-meaning-of-leaf-names-117905 Gill, N.S. "The Meaning of Leaf Names in Latin or Greek." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/foliage-words-meaning-of-leaf-names-117905 (accessed December 13, 2017).