The key difference between variegated leaves and simple leaves is that variegated leaves have green and non-green parts while simple leaves have a single leaf blade directly attached to the petiole or leaf stalk.
Leaves are the major photosynthetic parts of plants. They are rich in chloroplasts and appear in green. They carry out photosynthesis and produce foods for whole plants and also provide foods for other organisms. Leaves can be classified as simple leaves and compound leaves. Simple leaves have a single leaf blade attached to the petiole while compound leaves have a blade with two or more leaflets. Generally, leaves are green in colour. But, some leaves have green as well as non-green parts that are differently coloured. They are known as variegated leaves.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Variegated Leaves
3. What are Simple Leaves
4. Similarities Between Variegated Leaves and Simple Leaves
5. Side by Side Comparison – Variegated Leaves vs Simple Leaves in Tabular Form
What are Variegated Leaves?
Variegated leaves are differently coloured leaves. They have green parts as well as non-green leaf parts. In comparison to normal green colour leaves, variegated leaves occur rarely in nature. The variegation is due to the presence of different kinds of tissues. Variegation takes place due to the presence of different pigments, including anthocyanins. Therefore, in order to preserve all colours, it is necessary to propagate these plants by vegetative propagation.
Variegation is not only seen in leaves. Sometimes it can also be seen in stems. Moreover, leaf variegation can happen due to viral attacks on plants. In addition, nutrient deficiencies also cause variegation on leaves.
What are Simple Leaves?
Simple leaves are the leaves that have a single leaf blade which is not divided into leaflets. In simple leaves, the leaf blade is directly attached to the petiole. Leaf margins can be smooth or entire. Moreover, they can be differently lobed. Simple leaves are always attached to a twig by their petioles.
For example, plants, such as guava, mango, banana and sycamore, etc., have simple leaves. Furthermore, the four main parts of a simple leaf are leaf base, stipules, leaf lamina and petiole. The petiole can be long, short or completely absent.
What are the Similarities Between Variegated Leaves and Simple Leaves?
- Variegated leaves and simple leaves are two types of leaves.
- They are mostly green in colour.
- Leaves are the sites for photosynthesis in plants.
What is the Difference Between Variegated Leaves and Simple Leaves?
Variegated leaves have green and non-green leaf parts, while simple leaves have an undivided blade. So, this is the key difference between variegated leaves and simple leaves. Moreover, variegated leaves can have continuous or divided leaf lamina, while simple leaves have a continuous leaf lamina. Therefore, this is another difference between variegated leaves and simple leaves. Simple leaves are commonly seen in nature, while variegated leaves occur rarely in nature.
The following infographic summarizes the difference between variegated leaves and simple leaves.
Summary – Variegated Leaves vs Simple Leaves
Leaves may be simple or compound. Simple leaves have an undivided leaf blade, so simple leaves have a continuous leaf lamina. Meanwhile, variegated leaves are a type of leaves that have non-green parts. These non-green leaf parts appear due to the pigmentation, nutrient deficiencies or viral attacks. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between variegated leaves and simple leaves.