large. divided leaf structures found in palms !! ! and ferns.

fronds (Wikipedia)
A fern (Dryopteris decipiens) with simple (lobed or pinnatifid) blades, the dissection of each blade not quite reaching to the rachis.
A growing fern frond unfurling.
Unfurling fiddlehead fern frond

A frond is a large, divided leaf. In both common usage and botanical nomenclature, the leaves of ferns are referred to as fronds and some botanists restrict the term to this group. Other botanists allow the term frond to also apply to the large leaves of cycads and palms (Arecaceae). "Frond" is commonly used to identify a large, compound leaf, but if the term is used botanically to refer to the leaves of ferns and algae it may be applied to smaller and undivided leaves.

Fronds have particular terms describing their components. Like all leaves, fronds usually have a stalk connecting them to the main stem. In botany, this leaf stalk is generally called a petiole, but in regard to fronds specifically it is called a stipe, and it supports a flattened blade (which may be called a lamina), and the continuation of the stipe into this portion is called the rachis. The blades may be simple (undivided), pinnatifid (deeply incised, but not truly compound), pinnate (compound with the leaflets arranged along a rachis to resemble a feather), or further compound (subdivided). If compound, a frond may be compound once, twice, or more.

« Back to Glossary Index