Das Chlorophyll (von altgriechisch χλωρός chlōrós „hellgrün, frisch“ und φύλλον phýllon „Blatt“) oder Blattgrün bezeichnet eine Klasse natürlicher Farbstoffe, die von Organismen gebildet werden, die Photosynthese betreiben. Insbesondere Pflanzen erlangen ihre grüne Farbe durch Chlorophyllmoleküle.
Pflanzen, Algen und Cyanobakterien besitzen verschiedene Chlorophylltypen, photosynthesetreibende Bakterien verschiedene Typen von Bacteriochlorophyll.
Typically a leaf is a thin, flattened organ borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis, but many types of leaves are adapted in ways almost unrecognisable in those terms: some are not flat (for example many succulent leaves and conifers), some are not above ground (such as bulb scales), and some are without major photosynthetic function (consider for example cataphylls, spines, and cotyledons).
Conversely, many structures of non-vascular plants, or even of some lichens, which are not plants at all (in the sense of being members of the kingdom Plantae), do look and function much like leaves. Furthermore, several structures found in vascular plants look like leaves but are not totally homologous with leaves; they differ from typical leaves in their structures and origins. Examples include phyllodes, cladodes, and phylloclades.
According to Agnes Arber's partial-shoot theory of the leaf, leaves are partial shoots. Compound leaves are closer to shoots than simple leaves. Developmental studies have shown that compound leaves, like shoots, may branch in three dimensions. On the basis of molecular genetics, Eckardt and Baum (2010) concluded that "is is now generally accepted that compound leaves express both leaf and shoot properties."