P80428K.JPGThat refers to the pattern of the veins in the leaves. Long before studying horticulture and botany at Cal Poly, my classmates and I learned a bit about horticulture within the contexts of studying ‘nature’. While in the sixth grade, we all went to camp for a week. One of the many projects we did during that time was collecting a few leaves to represent three different vein patterns, and mounting them under clear plastic on a cardboard plaque. The three different patters were, ‘pinnate’, ‘palmate’, and ‘parallel’. I do not remember if we all used the same leaves, but for my plaque, I got a blue gum eucalyptus leaf to represent pinnate veins. Palmate veins were represented by English ivy. Parallel veins were represented by English plantain.

These two blue gum trees are the same trees that provided the leaf with pinnate veins for my plaque. This is not a good picture. There really are two trees here. The picture below is even worse, but shows that there really are two separate trees. They probably flanked a driveway to the old house outside of the picture to the right. They are not very healthy right now, and do not seem to be much bigger than they were back in November of 1978, when my sixth grade class was here at camp with them.

This camp happens to be right down the road from the farm. We are neighbors. It is gratifying to see that so much of the camp is just as it was four decades ago. The English ivy that was so common back than is completely gone now, probably because it is so invasive. The lawn around the blue gum eucalyptus used to be much weedier, and provided the English plantain leaves for my plaque.P80428K+

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9 thoughts on “Pinnate Leaves

      1. I’ve long held that elementary school teachers should explain the origins of words to their students. Of course that means that elementary school teachers would first have to learn those things themselves.

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      2. Actually, we did study that to some extent later on. It was interesting to know where they came from, and it gave us a better understanding of language.

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    1. They should probably be cut down, but no one wants to do it. Everyone likes them. They have been there for so long. There are a few more in the region, including about five that were on the farm. (Only two of the five remain.) I can not figure out why they were planted where they were planted. This pair seems to have been marking a driveway, but the others are in random spots along where the roads had been. They might have been quick shade for buildings that are gone now.
      A very long time ago, many blue gums were planted around a facility that processed explosives to help muffle an explosion if it happened. One such explosion threw burning embers into downtown Santa Cruz a few miles away. The trees were intended inhibit the dispersion of such debris.

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