Seedlings emerge from seeds with the familiar white stem we think of as a “sprout”, topped by a set of special leaves. This first set of leaves looks nothing like the leaves this plant will grow next and forever. This initial set of leaves is called the cotyledons. The leaves that follow, in the shape characteristic of the plant type, are the true leaves.
Here’s our own miniature “forest” of cotyledons, mostly kale, with some other herbs stepping up.