November 2016: Leaves


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
--Albert Camus


The green of leaves surrounds us in spring and summer, and every autumn we’re eager to search out the season’s richest colors. While we know that leaves contribute to spectacular scenery, we might not always stop to consider a leaf in its own right. For thousands of years, leaves have held vital importance in legend, medicine, commerce, and agriculture. As you explore the wondrous color on display at the Arboretum, take a moment to contemplate the leaves that provide it.

At the Arboretum

Ther are many ways to enjoy the leaves at The Morton Arboretum this month! For the latest information on fall color, check out the Bloom and Color Report! If you're feeling creative, learn the basics of watercolor painting at the Beginner’s Watercolor Workshop: Autumn Leaves. Some of our youngest visitors might enjoy Going on a Leaf Hunt!


“And leaves still play their part in enlivening a room, although today they are chosen with no thought to their fragrance, but with regard for their appropriateness to the season… This decorative use of foliage has come down through the centuries. At one time there were definite leaves for each month--holly for December, box for January, yew for February, and so on throughout the year,” Vernon Quinn, Leaves: Their Place in Life and Legend, pages 157-158

Library Resources

Leaves: Their Place in Life and Legend by Vernon Quinn

Eat Your Greens: The Surprising Power of Homegrown Leaf Crops by David Kennedy

Leaves in Myth, Magic, and Medicine by Alice Vitale

Overleaf by Richard Ogilvy and Susan Ogilvy

Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World by Markman Ellis, Richard Coulton, and Matthew Mauger

Resources for Young Readers

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

A Leaf Can Be… by Laura Purdie Salas

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert