A stem and leaf display (also called a stem and leaf plot) is a graphical method of displaying data. It is particularly useful when the data are not too numerous. A stem and leaf plot is similar to a histogram except it portrays a little more precision. A stem and leaf plot of the tournament players from the dataset "chess" as well as the data themselves are shown below:

85.3 80.3 75.9 74.9 71.1 58.1 56.4 51.2 45.6 40.1 |

The largest value, 85.3, is approximated as:

10 x 8 + 5.

This is represented in the plot as a stem of 8 and a leaf of 5. It is shown as the 5 in the first line of the plot. Similarly, 80.3 is approximated as 10 x 8 + 0; it has a stem of 8 and a leaf of 0. It is shown as the "0" in the first line of the plot.

Depending on the data, each stem is displayed 1, 2, or 5 times. When a stem is displayed only once (as on the plot shown above), the leaves can take on the values from 0-9.