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Either of a pair of appendages that are often present at the base of the petiole of a leaf.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



either of a pair of lateral appendages at the base of a leaf. The stipules infrequently fuse with the leaf stalk and with each other. Many plants lack stipules. At the base of the leaf stalks of compound leaves there are analogous formations called stipels (for example, in beans). Stipules are generally small, but they are large in vetchling, peas, and violets. In some plants, such as bedstraw and Asperula, they resemble leaves; in others, such as the locust, they do not. Stipules often play a protective role. By fusing together and embracing the stem, they form a funnellike opening (in buckwheat and sorrel) that protects young leaves. In the buds of many plants the stipules partially cover the young leaves (oak, linden, elm) and fall after the leaf unfolds.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.