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<p>Transverse cross-section of a very thin sunflower leaf (Helianthus annuus) to a thick tea leaf (Camellia sasquana). Along with total leaf thickness and leaf area, the leaves differ dramatically in cell size and in the thickness of cell walls according to specific mathematical equations newly discovered by the UCLA research team.</p>

Transverse cross-section of a very thin sunflower leaf (Helianthus annuus) to a thick tea leaf (Camellia sasquana). Along with total leaf thickness and leaf area, the leaves differ dramatically in cell size and in the thickness of cell walls according to specific mathematical equations newly discovered by the UCLA research team.

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Tease photo

The secret math of plants

UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design

Life scientists from UCLA's College of Letters and Science have discovered fundamental rules of leaf design that underlie plants' ability to produce leaves that vary enormously in size.