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What is the Rate of Leaf Growth Along the Stem? *

Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


Leaves grow in a different pattern than stems and shoots. They do not elongate along one axis, but instead spread out over time. Do all regions of the leaf grow equally? You can use markings on different regions of a growing leaf to see if the whole surface grows, or if growth is focused in a particular region, like the veins or edges of the leaf. If you look along a leafy stem, you may notice that leaves at different positions along the stem are different sizes. You can do an experiment to find out the rate of growth of leaves along the stem. Using graph paper, trace leaves from different positions along the stem. After tracing each leaf, you can calculate the surface area of the leaf by counting up the squares of graph paper within the outline of the leaf. Are the biggest leaves at the base or the tip of the stem? Is there a position along the stem where leaves do not get larger anymore? How many different types and species of leafy stems can you test? (VanCleave, 1993, 69-74)

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Science Buddies Staff. "What is the Rate of Leaf Growth Along the Stem?" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 27 June 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p024.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 27). What is the Rate of Leaf Growth Along the Stem?. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p024.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-27


VanCleave, J. 1993. Janice VanCleave's A+ Projects in Biology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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