With considerable justification the woody Ranales are regarded as the most primitive angiosperm group and the features they possess tend to be accepted as primitive for the angiosperms as a whole. The latter view is probably justified in most instances, but it would be unwise to assume uncritically that the woody Ranales are primitive in all respects. For example, because all woody Ranales possess them, simple leaves are regarded as primitive. There is less agreement on the primitiveness or otherwise of stipules because some woody Ranales possess them and others do not. However, if the view that the primitive angiosperm leaf is simple and exstipulate is correct then compound leaves and stipules must be regarded as derived. This may be so, but it should be noted that this would run counter to the general trend towards reduction in angiosperm evolution.