Mature maize leaves have defined cell types along the proximal distal and medial lateral axes. The patterning events that establish these axes take place early in leaf initiation. We have identified a new dominant mutation, Wavy auricle in blade1 (Wab1), which affects patterning in both axes in a dose-dependent manner. Wab1 leaves are narrower than normal leaves and displace proximal tissues distally. We show that the proximal distal patterning defects are not due to misexpression of knox genes. Genetic analyses suggest that the action of dominant Wab1 alleles is localized to a lateral domain of the leaf, located between the midvein and the marginal domain that is determined by narrow sheath function. Thus, Wab1 defines a knox-independent pathway that affects specification of the proximal distal axis of the maize leaf. We suggest that failure to elaborate a normal lateral domain in the Wab1 leaf is responsible for disrupting patterning of the proximal distal axis.