Octave_Structure.mat from Fluttering of growing leaves as a way to reach flatness: experimental evidence on <i>Persea americana</i>

Simple leaves show unexpected growth motions: the midrib of the leaves swings periodically in association with buckling events of the leaf blade, giving the impression that the leaves are fluttering. The quantitative kinematic analysis of this motion gives information about the respective growth between the main vein and the lamina. Our three-dimensional reconstruction, in the case of the avocado tree leaf, shows that the conductor of the motion is the midrib, presenting continuous oscillations and inducing buckling events on the blade. The variations of the folding angle of the leaf show that the lamina is not passive: it responds to the deformation induced by the connection to the midrib to reach a globally flat state. We model this movement as an asymmetric growth of the midrib, directing an inhomogeneous growth of the lamina, suggesting how the transition from the folded state to the flat state is mechanically organized.