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Have you ever picked up a leaf and wondered what type of tree it fell from?

There are hundreds of types of leaves in the United States alone, and most people don’t know their scientific or even common names.

You can use this list of leaf types to facilitate an outdoor scavenger hunt, a classroom presentation, or for your own personal learning.

Leaf Identification Guide

We’ve put together a presentation of 76 real images of leaves with their common names, scientific names, plant families, venation systems, and common uses.

Here’s what you’ll learn for each leaf:

Common Leaf Names

According to Plant Management in Florida Waters (UF|IFAS), a leaf’s common name is the name that local people use to identify it. The common name of a leaf can change depending on your location.

Scientific Leaf Names

The UF|IFAS says the scientific name of a leaf is the same worldwide. It is a Latin derived word and it’s used to standardize a leaf for scientific research.

Plant Family

Each tree belongs to a plant family. The Science Education Resource Center of Carleton College says that plants in the same family “have similar flowers, reproductive structures, other characteristics, and are evolutionarily related.”

Leaf Venation

Leaf venation “is the pattern of veins in the blade of a leaf. The veins consist of vascular tissues which are important for the transport of food and water.”

Common Uses

As a bonus, we share some of the common uses of each tree, like decoration, fuel, furniture, etc.

Different Types of Leaves with Names, Pictures, and Information

Here are are the first 20 different types of leaves with their names, pictures, and information. Don’t forget to bookmark the entire slideshow of all 76 leaves (there are too many to fit into one post!).

And if you need a more comprehensive collection of leaf types, make sure to check out The Book of Leaves: A Leaf-by-Leaf Guide to Six Hundred of the World’s Great Trees.

Silver Maple

  • Common Name: Silver Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer saccharinum
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Furniture, pulp wood, fuel

Leaf name: Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum- palmate

Box Elder

  • Common Name: Box Elder
  • Scientific Name: Acer negundo
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Pule and woodenware

Leaf Names: Box Elder - Acer negundo - Maple - Pinnate

Japanese Maple

  • Common Name: Japanese Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer palmatum
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Ornamental

Leaves Name: Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum - Palmate

Sugar Maple

  • Common Name: Sugar Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer saccharum
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Furniture, maple sugar

Name of Leaves: Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum - Maple - Palmate

Planetree Maple

  • Common Name: Planetree Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer pseudoplatanus
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Ornamental

Leaves Names: Planetree Maple - Acer pseudoplatanus - Maple - Palmate

Striped Maple

  • Common Name: Striped Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer pensylvanicum
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Ornamental and food for animals

Types of Leaves: Striped Maple - Acer pensylvanicum - Maple - Palmate

Red Maple

  • Common Name: Red Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer rubrum
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Furniture and boxes

Different Types of Leaves with Names: Red Maple - Acer rubrum - Maple - Palmate

Crimson King Maple

  • Common Name: Crimson King Maple (Norway)
  • Scientific Name: Acer platamoides
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Ornamental and shade

Crimson King Maple (Norway) - Acer platamoides - Maple - Palmate

Norway Maple

  • Common Name: Norway Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer platanoides
  • Plant Family: Maple
  • Venation: Palmate
  • Uses: Shade

Types of Leaves Names: Norway Maple - Acer platanoides - Maple - Palmate


White Oak

  • Common Name: White Oak
  • Scientific Name: Quercus alba
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Furniture

White Oak - Quercus alba - Beech - Pinnate

Northern Red Oak

  • Common Name: Northern Red Oak
  • Scientific Name: Quercus rubra
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Construction and interior work

Different Types of Leaves: Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra - Beech - Pinnate

Pin Oak

  • Common Name: Pin Oak
  • Scientific Name: Quercus nuttallii
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Nuts for animals

Pin Oak - Quercus nuttallii - Beech - Pinnate

Black Oak

  • Common Name: Pin Oak
  • Scientific Name: Quercus velutina
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Construction, furniture

Name of Leaves: Black Oak - Quercus velutina - Beech - Pinnate

Swamp White Oak

  • Common Name: Swamp White Oak
  • Scientific Name: Quercus bicolor
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Lumber

Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor - Beech - Pinnate

American Chestnut

  • Common Name: American Chestnut
  • Scientific Name: Castanea dentata
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Rough exterior work

Leaf Name: American Chestnut - Castanea dentata - Beech - Pinnate

American Beech

  • Common Name: American Beech
  • Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia
  • Plant Family: Beech
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Flooring and woodenware

American Beech - Fagus grandifolia - Beech - Pinnate

River Birch

  • Common Name: River Birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula nigra
  • Plant Family: Birch
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Furniture and woodenware

River Birch - Betula nigra - Birch - Pinnate

Paper Birch

  • Common Name: Paper Birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula papyrifera
  • Plant Family: Birch
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Plywood, fuel, toothpicks, etc.

Paper Birch - Betula papyrifera - Birch - Pinnate

Gray Birch

  • Common Name: Gray Birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula populifolia
  • Plant Family: Birch
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Spools and firewood

Gray Birch - Betula populifolia - Birch - Pinnate

Blueleaf Birch

  • Common Name: Blueleaf Birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula caerulea-granadis
  • Plant Family: Birch
  • Venation: Pinnate
  • Uses: Ornamental

Blueleaf Birch - Betula caerulea-granadis - Birch - Pinnate

Types of Leaves with Examples

Those first 20 types of leaves with examples were located in the Western New York area. Perhaps the trees in your area are different. If so, use this post as an example and encouragement to go out and teach kids about trees. And have fun doing it!

We look forward to sharing many more fun activities for kids that you can use to keep kids active and engaged in nature, science and hands-on fun.

Book Recommendation: The Book of Leaves: A Leaf-by-Leaf Guide to Six Hundred of the World’s Great Trees

76 Types of Leaves for a Leaf Scavenger Hunt

leaves

I'm a mom of one rambunctious 4-year-old son sharing tips to help make your life just a little bit easier as a parent. MomsCollab.com is a place for moms like us to find kids activities, pregnancy and parenting tips for young kids in all stages of life.

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