Geoff Read wrote:
> Looking into the antecedents of 'palmate' indicates the human 'palm' as the
> stem for all other usages. As palm tree is one such I would be wary of
> calling a structure palmate when really palm-tree-like was meant. This
> might be the case for the sabellid radioles. The botanists, who have lots
> of useful words at their finger tips, seem to use the term for the specific
> case of _five_ lobes not completely divided.
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees defines palmate as
"With leaflets attached directly to the end of the leafstalk and not
arranged in rows along an axis." Palmate-veined leaves as "With the
principal veins arising from the end of the leafstalk and radiating toward
the edge of the leaf, and not branching from a single midvein." College
Botany, by Fuller and Tippo, (which I used at Cornell University) calls
palmately veined ""a type of net venation in which the main veins of a leaf
blade branch out from the apex of the petiole like the fingers of a hand."
So skip the five fingers and think of the main veins, however many, as
stemming mutually from the hand's union with the wrist.
Millard C. Davis
<mildavis at earthlink.net>
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