In botany, stipule (Latin stipula: straw, stalk) is a term coined by Linnaeus[1] which refers to outgrowths borne on either side (sometimes just one side) of the base of a leafstalk (the petiole). A pair of stipules is considered part of the anatomy of the leaf of a typical flowering plant, although in many species the stipules are inconspicuous or entirely absent (and the leaf is then termed exstipulate).

In some older botanical writing, the term "stipule" was used more generally to refer to any small leaves or leaf-parts, notably prophylls.[2]

Stipules are morphologically variable and might appear as glands, scales, hairs, spines, or laminar (leaf-like) structures. A relationship exists between the anatomy of the stem node and the presence or absence of stipules: most plants with trilacunar nodes have stipules; species with unilacunar nodes lack stipules.[3]

Types of stipules

Glandular stipule of Euphorbia pteroneura

Stipular spines on the mesquite tree (Prosopis pallida)

Fused together and leaf-like stipules of Alchemilla mollis

Leafy stipules at the base of a Rose leaf (Rosa canina)

Stipules building glandular hairs on Jatropha spicata

Stipules protecting young leaves of Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam)

Stipular spine clusters of Euphorbia spectabilis

Stipular spines accompanied by prickles of Euphorbia didiereoides


  1. Concise English Dictionary Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 1994, ISBN 1-85326-328-1
  2. Goebel, K.E.v. (1969) [1905]. Organography of plants, especially of the Archegoniatae and Spermaphyta. Part 2 Special organography. Translated by I.B. Balfour. New York: Hofner publishing company.
  3. Sinnott, E. W. & I. W. Bailey (1914). "Investigations on the phylogeny of the angiosperms. 3. Nodal anatomy and the morphology of stipules". American Journal of Botany. 1: 441–453. doi:10.2307/2435043. JSTOR 2435043.

General references

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.