Leaflets versus Leaves

Q: I hate to quibble but shouldn’t you have said “leaflets of three” for poison ivy and “leaflets of five” for Virginia creeper in your recent article about the poisonous vine?

A: I thought long and hard about the reaction of knowledgeable horticulturists like you before I decided to use the word “leaves”. It is true that leaves have a specific horticultural definition and that both of the vines in question have leaflets, not leaves. However, I decided to use the term that most readers would understand (and the rhyme they most likely know).

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