The leaves in plants are very essential for growth and development. Different plants also have various shapes and sizes of leaves which perform the same function in terms of manufacturing food for growth, development, and survival. The following are some facts related to the leaves of plants:
Fact 1: Chlorophyll gives the green color in leaves. Most plants have green leaves and this all because of the green pigment they contain called chlorophyll. This substance is also important for food production as it absorbs all the rays of the sun to help create food.
Fact 2: Leaves have cuticles. The cuticle is actually a wax-like substance in the outer layer of leaf. This was covering function to protect the leaf from easy infiltration of germs and insects. Without this protective coat, the leaf will easily wilt and die.
Fact 3: The leaves of plants have veins too. Similar to the blood vessels in humans and animals, the veins in leaves also promote the transport of food and other materials throughout the whole plant. With the help of sunlight, food is created through the leaves and this will be transported to other parts of the plant for growth and development.
Fact 4: The underside of the leaves is where their breathing apparatus is situated. Referred to as the stomata, these parts of the leaves are like pores that allow carbon dioxide to be taken in to help manufacture food along with sugar, sunlight, and water.
Fact 5: Leaves fall off during autumn season to help protect the whole tree or plant. With its very high water content, leaves will literally freeze when the snow of winter falls. When this happens, the whole plant or tree will not be able to manufacture food and have a slim chance of survival. By falling off during autumn, the leaves actually help preserve the plant’s trunk and branches in preparation for a very cold winter.
Fact 6: All leaves have chlorophyll but not all are green in color. Some leaves are actually yellow, red, or even purple. These other colors are mainly due to the active anthocyanins and carotenoids in other plants. At certain times of the year, the chlorophyll or green pigment will wear off and expose the other colors of the leaf. This is particularly evident during the fall season.
Fact 7: Leaves provide nutrients to the soil. When leaves fall off in autumn, they will basically settle on the ground until they decompose and become part of the soil providing nutrients in the process.
Fact 8: Leaves that are left on the soil can help provide moisture to it. Aside from its own water content, leaves that accumulate on the ground will help generate enough moisture to make the soil healthy for other plants to grow.
Fact 9: Many leaves are flat and spread out to face the sun. Being flat provides the leaf a practical purpose and that is to get the most sunlight to help in the food-production process for the entire plant.
Fact 10: Leaves provide protection and shelter to some animals. Many birds for example use leaves in creating their homes and nests. Some insects also use leaves for their own protection against other insects or predators.