Simple leaves can be distinguished from compound leaves by looking for axillary buds.

Each leaf has one axillary bud, where the petiole (stalk) attaches to the stem.

  1. A simple leaf is a single blade attached to one petiole, and one axillary bud.

  2. A compound leaf consists of one petiole with several leaflets.

  3. In a doubly compound leaf, each leaflet is divided into smaller leaflets.