We eat a huge number of plants leaves and they are full of vitamins.There are thousands of varieties of plants with edible leaves such a cabbages, lettuce, herbs and spinach.
It is advisable not to eat the leaves of a plant once it has made seed, as they tend to be very bitter. This is because the plant is trying to protect itself from being eaten by insects at this vital time. The plant produces a bitter tasting chemical, to deter insects and animals, so that it is able to spread its seeds and make more plants for the future. How brilliant is that.
All about leaves
Why do plants need leaves? Plants grow leaves so that they can make their own food. The leaves need sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to do this.
- Water travels from the roots up the stem and into the leaves.
- Leaves absorb the sun’s energy
- Chlorophyll (green pigment) in the leaf cells, use the sun’s energy to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugars which feeds the growing plant.
- Leaf veins help move water and sugar around the plant.
- Holes in the leaves called stoma let the carbon dioxide in and then release oxygen back into the air.
Plants give us oxygen that we need to breath, as well as feeding us. Time to look after some plants and trees, as they look after us.
When harvesting herbs, or cut and come again vegetables like some lettuce varieties, make sure you don’t harvest too many leaves in one go, if you want it to continue to grow.