Difference between Pinnate and Palmate Compound Leaves

Pinnate and palmate compound leaves are two types of leaf venation. Venation is the arrangement of veins on a leaf blade. Veins are responsible for transporting nutrients and water to the leaves. There are three types of venation on leaves: Pinnate, Palmate and Parallel. The single middle vein is the primary vein, and the veins arriving from it are secondary veins. Let us now look at the differences between pinnately and palmately compound leaves:

Pinnate Compound Leaves

Palmate Compound Leaves


It is a venation pattern where several secondary veins arise from a main vein from the base to the top.

It is a venation pattern where several main veins project from the base of the leaf.

Number of Primary Veins

A single primary vein is present from the base to the top.

Several main veins run from the base of the leaf to the top.


Their outline looks like a feather.

They resemble a human hand.


Leaflets are borne on an elongated axis called the rachis.

Many leaflets arise from a single point where the petiole and stem meet.


Cycads and ferns

Poison ivy and buckeye tree

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What is the difference between pinnate and bipinnate leaves?

Pinnate leaves are the ones that have a single primary vein from which multiple secondary veins arise, whereas bipinnate leaves are the ones in which the leaflets themselves are pinnately veined.


What is a toothed leaf?

It is a type of leaf where the margins have small points that look like teeth along it.


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