Hunter's Woods PH

Montessori Botany

Leaf Shapes - Montessori Botany

Get to know some of the most common leaf shapes and follow-up with a couple of free interactive / printable worksheets for mastery.

Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) has a free set of cards for leaf shapes here (illustrations) and here (photos).

There are actually lots and lots of leaf shapes — some with just minor differences between them — but the following are a few of the most common:

  • Aciculate / acicular – needle-shaped – very narrow and pointed, rounded in cross section
  • Cordate – heart-shaped – pointed apex, 2 rounded basal lobes
  • Elliptic / elliptical – oval, widest at the middle of the blade, with curved margins and a pointed base and apex
  • Flabellate – fan-shaped – semi-circular
  • Hastate – spear-shaped – pointed, shaped like a spear point, with flaring pointed lobes at the base
  • Lanceolate – lance-shaped – long (3-6x as long as it is wide) and widest below the middle of the blade
  • Linear – long and very narrow, margins almost parallel, like a blade of grass
  • Obcordate – reverse heart-shaped – with the stem attached at the tapering end
  • Oblanceolate – reverse lanceolate – much longer than wide, with the widest portion above the middle of the blade
  • Oblong – nearly rectangular, with almost parallel margins, around 2x as long as wide
  • Obovate – teardrop-shaped – reverse ovate – widest above the middle of the blade, with the stem attached to the tapering end
  • Orbiculate / orbicular – circular – with rounded sides
  • Ovate – oval / egg-shaped – with a tapering point, widest below the middle of the blade near the petiole
  • Reniform – kidney-shaped – oval with an inward curve on one side
  • Rhomboid / rhombic – diamond-shaped – widest at the middle and with straight margins
  • Runcinate – oblanceolate with lacerate margins
  • Sagittate – arrowhead-shaped with lower lobes folded downwards or inwards
  • Spatulate – spoon-shaped – broad flat end which tapers towards the base
  • Triangular / deltoid – triangular, shaped roughly like an equilateral triangle (“deltoid” because it is shaped like the Greek letter delta)


The worksheets below are designed to help students master the different shapes of leaves, but don’t forget to go out into your garden / backyard / nearest forest and check out the leaf shapes on actual, real-life plants!

Quick links to other leaf worksheets:

Note on the Worksheets

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Leaf Shapes: Montessori Botany Worksheet 1

You can download a free printable version of this worksheet here: Montessori Leaf Shapes Worksheet 1 (PDF) 

Leaf Shapes: Montessori Botany Worksheet 2

You can download a free printable version of this worksheet here: Montessori Leaf Shapes Worksheet 2 (PDF) 

Did you enjoy these leaf shapes worksheets? See all our free printable and interactive worksheets here:

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