The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Describe Structures of the Leaf

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

 

Image of photosynthesis

 

 

Plants use sunlight to make their own food - this process is called photosynthesis.

Plants have different structures that help them to make their food. One of the main structures is the leaf. A  leaf has many adaptations that allow it to carry out photosynthesis effectively. Let's look at these in more detail below:

 

Image of leaf anatomy

 

 

The leaf is quite a complicated organ when looked at under a microscope as you can see from the picture above!

The leaf is made up of many layers - each layer has a role to play in protecting the plant and helping it to produce food. Let's explore these layers:

The top layer of a leaf is called the waxy cuticle. The waxy part forms a protective layer over the leaf and reduces water loss from the plant. It's also transparent, so allows light to pass through it.

 Directly underneath this is the epidermal tissue called the upper epidermis. This forms another protective layer and helps to reduce water loss too. 

The next layer of cells is formed of palisade mesophyll cells. These are rectangular-shaped and are packed with loads of chloroplasts. The chloroplasts contain the green pigment chlorophyll, which absorbs light to power photosynthesis.

Below the palisade mesophyll layer is the spongy mesophyll layer. The spongy mesophyll layer contains air spaces, allowing gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen to diffuse in and out of the leaves easily. Within this spongy layer, you can find the xylem and phloem. The xylem is responsible for transporting water and minerals from the roots of a plant to the leaves. The phloem transports sugars like sucrose around the plant to where it's needed.

The lower epidermis layer contains holes or pores called stomata (stoma for one pore). These stomata allow gases in and out of the underside of the leaf. 

 

 Image of leaf anatomy


 

Meristems are found at the growing tips of shoots and roots. Meristem cells are able to differentiate into any other cell that the plant needs. It's here that cells are able to divide and produce any type of plant cell. This allows the plant to keep growing taller and wider.


In the following activity, you will describe the different structures and functions of the leaf.

The waxy cuticle forms the upper layer of a leaf.

 

Describe how the waxy cuticle helps the leaf.  

Reduces water loss

Allows oxygen to pass out of the leaf

Transports water

The image below shows the structure of a leaf.

Structure X is a stoma (plural: stomata).

 

What is the role of the stomata?

 

Image of leaf anatomy  

Allows water to enter the leaf

Allows carbon dioxide and oxygen to enter and leave the plant

Allows glucose to leave the leaf

Take a look at the image of the leaf below.

 

Label structures A and B.

 

Image of leaf anatomy

 

A: Stoma

A: Palisade mesophyll

B: Spongy mesophyll

B: Palisade mesophyll

 

The xylem and phloem are tissues that transport substances around the plant. 

 

Describe the function of xylem and phloem tissues.

Column A

Column B

Xylem tissue transports
water and minerals from the roots to the leaves of...
Phloem tissue transports
nutrients such as sugar and amino acids around the...

Meristem tissues are found in different regions in plants. 

 

Where are meristem tissues found? 

 

Image of a plant

In the nucleus

Root tips

In the chloroplast

Shoot tips

The palisade mesophyll layer is packed with chloroplasts.

 

What do chloroplasts do? 

In the nucleus

Root tips

In the chloroplast

Shoot tips

 

The xylem and phloem are responsible for transporting water and nutrients around the plant.

 

In which layer of the leaf can you find the xylem and phloem?

Upper epidermis

Palisade mesophyll

Spongy mesophyll

There are many chloroplasts in the palisade mesophyll layer.

 

Describe how this adaptation helps the plant to grow. 

Having many chloroplasts allows more sunlight to be trapped by the pigment chlorophyll

Having many chloroplasts allows less sunlight to be trapped by the pigment chlorophyll

The light will be used to power respiration

The light will be used to power photosynthesis which will produce glucose, helping it to grow

Meristem tissues are found in different regions in plants.

 

What's the function of meristem tissues?

 

Image of a plant

They can differentiate into any type of plant cell

They store water in their tissues

They absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis

Describe the function of stomata by filling in the blanks below.

They can differentiate into any type of plant cell

They store water in their tissues

They absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis

  • Question 1

The waxy cuticle forms the upper layer of a leaf.

 

Describe how the waxy cuticle helps the leaf.  

CORRECT ANSWER
Reduces water loss
EDDIE SAYS
The waxy cuticle is waterproof, reducing water loss from the leaf. It's also transparent, allowing light in for photosynthesis! Pretty cool right?!
  • Question 2

The image below shows the structure of a leaf.

Structure X is a stoma (plural: stomata).

 

What is the role of the stomata?

 

Image of leaf anatomy  

CORRECT ANSWER
Allows carbon dioxide and oxygen to enter and leave the plant
EDDIE SAYS
The stomata are pores that allow gas exchange to occur - they are normally surrounded by cells called guard cells that open and close, controlling which gases enter or exit the leaf. Can you remember which way the gases go? Oxygen is released from the stomata in the leaf into the air and carbon dioxide is absorbed from the air. Pretty important stuff to know!
  • Question 3

Take a look at the image of the leaf below.

 

Label structures A and B.

 

Image of leaf anatomy

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A: Palisade mesophyll
B: Spongy mesophyll
EDDIE SAYS
Don't worry if you found this hard - these are difficult structures to recognise and to recall the names! To help you to identify the palisade mesophyll layer, look for the cells that are rectangular looking. The order of layers in the leaf from the outer layer inwards goes like this: waxy cuticle - upper epidermis - palisade mesophyll - spongy mesophyll (which contains the xylem and phloem) - lower epidermis (which contains the stomata). See if you can work out some way of remembering this order.
  • Question 4

 

The xylem and phloem are tissues that transport substances around the plant. 

 

Describe the function of xylem and phloem tissues.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Xylem tissue transports
water and minerals from the roots...
Phloem tissue transports
nutrients such as sugar and amino...
EDDIE SAYS
These are tricky words to recall but it is important to understand their roles. Xylem and phloem have almost opposite functions - one transports water and minerals (xylem), the other transports food in the form of glucose and amino acids (phloem). If you can remember one tissue, hopefully the other will be easier to remember!
  • Question 5

Meristem tissues are found in different regions in plants. 

 

Where are meristem tissues found? 

 

Image of a plant

CORRECT ANSWER
Root tips
Shoot tips
EDDIE SAYS
Can you remember what the function of meristem tissue is? Meristem cells have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell that the plant needs, thereby allowing the plant to keep growing. This means that they will be found in the parts of the plant that are growing - so, in the root and shoot tips. They are also found in between xylem and phloem tissues.
  • Question 6

The palisade mesophyll layer is packed with chloroplasts.

 

What do chloroplasts do? 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Chloroplasts, and the chlorophyll they contain, are responsible for trapping the Sun's light energy to kick start photosynthesis. Without these, there would be no photosynthesis!
  • Question 7

 

The xylem and phloem are responsible for transporting water and nutrients around the plant.

 

In which layer of the leaf can you find the xylem and phloem?

CORRECT ANSWER
Spongy mesophyll
EDDIE SAYS
This one is easier than it looks! Think of the structure of a sponge - it is full of holes and can hold air or water in it. The spongy mesophyll, like a sponge, contains air spaces to allow gases to diffuse in and out of the leaf easily, and also water, in the xylem and phloem.
  • Question 8

There are many chloroplasts in the palisade mesophyll layer.

 

Describe how this adaptation helps the plant to grow. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Having many chloroplasts allows more sunlight to be trapped by the pigment chlorophyll
The light will be used to power photosynthesis which will produce glucose, helping it to grow
EDDIE SAYS
The key to this is remembering what is contained within the chloroplasts! Chloroplasts contain the green substance called chlorophyll. This is the essential chemical needed for absorbing light for photosynthesis. Having loads of chloroplasts in the leaf is a major adaptation because the more chloroplasts there are, the more chlorophyll there will be, so that photosynthesis can occur.
  • Question 9

Meristem tissues are found in different regions in plants.

 

What's the function of meristem tissues?

 

Image of a plant

CORRECT ANSWER
They can differentiate into any type of plant cell
EDDIE SAYS
Meristem tissues are found in the tips of roots and shoots and between xylem and phloem tissues. They are important tissues because the meristem cells have the ability to divide and differentiate to become any type of cell that the plant needs. This means that the plant can continue to grow.
  • Question 10

Describe the function of stomata by filling in the blanks below.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get them all right? Stomata are needed for gas exchange - to take in carbon dioxide from the environment for photosynthesis and to release oxygen. Water vapour also diffuses out through them. They are found in the lower epidermis because they are on the underside of the leaf. Well done for completing this activity!
---- OR ----

Get started for free so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Try an activity or get started for free