5 Difference Between Parallel And Reticulate Venation (With Pictures)

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The pattern or arrangement of veins on a leaf is termed venation.  Parallel and reticulate venation are basically the two types of venation present in plant.

What is Parallel venation?

Parallel venation describes a condition in leaves when all the veins of a leaf are parallel to each other from the petiole to the leaf tip. Typically, this characteristic feature of most of the monocot plant leaves and correlates with their extended leaf shape and wide base. In such leaves, the veins usually run parallel to one another from the base of the leaf (petiole) to the tip of the leaf (Apex), resulting in a net-like pattern being formed on both sides of the midrib.  Basically, parallel venation can be categorized into two types: Pinnately and palmately.

  • Pinnately parallel venation: in this type, there is a prominent midrib in the center from which many veins perpendicularly run parallel to each other. Pinnately parallel venation can be observed in plants such as banana leaves. This type of venation can also be referred to as unicostate parallel venation.
  • Palmately Parallel Venation:  In this type, several veins arise from the tip of the petiole and they all run parallel to each other and meet at the apex. Palmately parallel venation can be observed in grasses. This type of parallel venation can also be referred to as multicostate parallel venation. Palmately parallel venation can be further categorized into two types divergent and convergent parallel venation.  When the veins arise from the midrib, runs parallel to the midrib and merge together at the apex of the leaf then the condition can be described as convergent parallel venation. In divergent parallel venation, the leaf is separated into lobes and a vein enters into each lobe separately, a good example is palmyra palm.

What is Reticulate Venation?

Reticulate venation is a common characteristic of dicot leaves. In this type of venation, the veins form an interconnecting network spread across the lamina. In this type of venation, the primary vein or midrib connects the leaf. The midrib possesses numerous branches which give rise to small secondary veins. These secondary veins extended from the midrib towards the margin of leaf. Example of plants with this type of venation include mango hibiscus, ficus, guava, bastard teak, china rose, holy basil, physic nut, white teak etc.

Reticulate venation can be further categorized into two types: Pinnate reticulate venation and palmate reticulate venation.

  • In Pinnate reticulate venation, all the veins other than the midrib are involved in the formation of the network in reticular venation.
  • In Palmate reticulate venation, many midribs occur while the rest of the veins form the reticular network.

The Differences

Definition

Parallel Venation can be defined as a pattern in the veins of a leaf whereby the veins run parallel to each other from the petiole to the leaf tip. In reticulate venation, veins are interconnected and form a web like network structure which is present on both sides of the midrib.

Presence

The parallel venation occurs in monocots while reticulate venation occurs in dicots.

Examples

Examples of parallel venation include bamboo, wheat, grasses, maize, etc. Examples of reticulate venation include mango, hibiscus, ficus etc.

Arrangement of veins

Arrangement of veins in parallel venation is parallel to one another while arrangement of veins in reticulate venation produces a network or web like structure.

Also Read: Difference Between Simple And Compound Leaf

Parallel Vs Reticulate Venation In Tabular Form

Basis of Comparison Parallel Venation Reticulate Venation
Definition Parallel Venation can be defined as a pattern in the veins of a leaf whereby the veins run parallel to each other from the petiole to the leaf tip. In reticulate venation, veins are interconnected and form a web like network structure which is present on both sides of the midrib.  
Presence Present in monocot plants. Present in dicot plants.
Examples Examples of parallel venation include bamboo, wheat, grasses, maize,  sorghum, coconut, palm, rice, bajra etc Examples of reticulate venation include mango, hibiscus, ficus, guava, bastard teak, china rose, holy basil, physic nut, white teak etc.  
Arrangement of veins Arrangement of veins in parallel venation is parallel to one another. While arrangement of veins in reticulate venation produces a network or web like structure.  

Similarities Between Reticulate and Parallel Venation

The main similarities between reticulate and parallel venation are that they both:

  • Contain phloem and xylem, which plays an important role in translocation, transportation of water and food throughout the leaf.
  • Provide mechanical support and coordination during development of the leaf blade.