Vegetable Leaf Identification

Updated February 21, 2017

Correctly identifying a vegetable leaf allows gardeners to differentiate between vegetables as well as between a vegetable seedling and weed in the garden. Vegetables leaves vary, depending on the plant, but gardeners quickly learn to identify these with practice.

Time Frame

Narrow down your possibilities when identifying vegetable leaves by considering the time of year and comparing it with the stage of growth. Cool-season vegetables do not continue growing in high temperatures, while warm-season varieties fail to thrive as fall arrives and temperatures drop.

Physical Characteristics

Carrots produce long, feathery leaves while corn develops long, slender leaves. Cucumber and squash leaves grow larger than most other vegetables as they near maturity. Other vegetable leaves have easily identified shapes, such as kohlrabi leaves, with their rough, toothed edges. Thickness and texture also offer clues. Examples include the thick, smooth leaves of endive and the thin leaves of butterhead lettuce.


Planting rows of the same vegetable and marking each row makes identification a moot point. This also offers good guidance as you provide the best possible growing conditions for your vegetables, depending on type.

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About the Author

Kristin Urbauer has been freelance writing since 2009 when she began publishing work for various websites. She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including children, education, gardening, pets, mental health and alternative medicine. She attended the University of Nebraska where she majored in English.