a scalelike leaf, as a bud scale or certain bracts.
Origin of scale leaf
First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a modified leaf, often small and membranous, protecting buds, etc
any of the leaves of some conifers, such as cypresses, that are small and tightly pressed to the stem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012