collection of leaflets on a plant

A frond is a large, divided leaf.[1]

The names of fern frond parts (Davallia tyermannii)
Cycas with fronds
Unfurling fiddlehead fern frond

The leaves of ferns are referred to as fronds.[2] Some botanists only use this term for ferns.[3] Other botanists also use the term 'frond' for the large leaves of cycads, as well as palms (Arecaceae) and various other flowering plants, such as mimosa or sumac.[4][5]

"Frond" is commonly used to identify a large, compound leaf. If the term is used for the leaves of ferns and algae, it can be applied to smaller and undivided leaves.


  1. Raven, Evert Eichhorn (2004). The biology of plants (7th ed.). New York, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
  2. Gifford, Ernest M.; Foster, Adriance S. (1989). Morphology and evolution of vascular plants (3rd ed.). New York, New York: W.H. Freeman.
  3. Judd, Walter S.; Campbell, Christopher S.; Donoghue, Michael J.; Kellogg, Elizabeth A.; Stevens, Peter F. (2007). Plant systematics: a phylogenetic approach (3rd ed.). Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer.
  4. Jones, David L. (1993). Cycads of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, USA. ISBN 0730103382.
  5. Allaby, Michael (1992). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192860941.