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A plant having hard leaves stiffened by woody tissue, with a relatively short distance between leaf nodes. Sclerophylls are generally found in warm dry climates or in phosphorus-poor soils and include many species of eucalyptus and evergreen oak.

scle·roph′yl·lous (sklə-rŏf′ə-ləs) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Plants) a woody plant with small leathery evergreen leaves that is the dominant plant form in certain hot dry areas, esp the Mediterranean region
[C20: from Greek sklēros hard + phullon a leaf]
sclerophyllous adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Water relations for sun and shade leaves of four Mediterranean evergreen sclerophylls. J.
No consensus from currently literature has been reached to determine whether blackbrush is a xerophytes or a sclerophyll since blackbrush leaves possess a number of morphological and anatomical traits that are common in both woody xerophytes and sclerophylls.
This dense shrubland is dominated by evergreen sclerophylls such as chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum, hereafter Adenostoma) and species of Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus.
Ecophysiology of photosynthesis: performance of poikilohydric lichens and homoiohydric Mediterranean sclerophylls. Journal of Ecology 76:915-937.
The hard, shiny, resinous leaves of California scrub oak also limit evaporation; botanists call such leaves sclerophylls, and they're one of the most common means chaparral plants employ to cope with their climate.