5 Interesting Facts About Leaves
Now that autumn is almost here, we’ll all start to witness the transformation and eventual demise of the trees’ leaves. The landscape will be painted in vivid, warm colors as the foliage responds to the atmospheric changes of the new season. You may enjoy the optics of fall leaves, but how much do you know about the science behind them? Read on to learn more!
Leaves are made of several layers of cells. One is the cuticle, or waxy covering. Another is the stomata which serves as the mechanism for gas exchange. Then we have the xylem which is the water-conducting tissue and the phloem which is the sap-conducting tissue. Finally, leaves contain internal air spaces.
Strong, Silent Type
Most leaves are flat for a reason - to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. But, there are actually many different types of leaves in all shapes and sizes including simple and compound leaves, fronds, needles, microphers, and sheaths.
Food For Thought
Leaves are the food factories of plants. Leaves create food using a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is when a plant converts the sun’s (or another light source’s) energy into chemical energy. Plants are the only living organism on the planet that can make their own food!
A Dose of Medicine
Throughout history, and in nearly every culture, people have used leaves for medicinal purposes to treat ailments ranging from skin conditions to internal illnesses. Some popular plants with medicinal leaves include ashwagandha, tulsi, peppermint, aloe vera, sage, and nag champa.
You may think leaves are all green and change to other colors in the fall, but that’s not the case. During the cooler months, there’s not enough light or water for photosynthesis to take place, so trees live off the food they stored over the warm months. Therefore, they no longer need their leaves, or food-making factories, so they shed their green chlorophyll layer. The true colors of the leaves, such as red, yellow, and orange are then revealed.
Leaves may be small, but they’re kind of a big deal! A little knowledge goes a long way and you can use these newfound facts to impress your friends as the leaves start to change for the season.