A frond is a large leaf with many divisions. The term can apply to the leaves of ferns, cycads, and palms, but some botanists restrict its application to only the leaves of ferns. The stalk of a frond is known as the stipe and its continuation into the blade portion is known as the rachis. There can be many different arrangements of blades in a frond. A simple frond has undivided blades while a compound frond has blades divided all the way into the rachis. A pinnate fond is compound and the blades are arranged so that the frond resembles a feather. A pinnatifid frond has mostly separated blades, but it’s not truly compound since the separation is not complete (there is a deep incision between blades, but it does not continue into the rachis).


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