Gallery of Phyllotaxis

Photos of Plants, Classified by Phyllotaxis Type

Plant Photo Gallery (in pop up window)
Plant Photo Gallery (in this window)

The classification is of the form (ki, kj) or k(i, j), where k is the number of whorls and ki, kj are the parastichy numbers. When k =1, the configuration is called spiral, when k>1 and i=j, it is whorled and when k>1, and i, j are distinct, it is called multijugate. As special cases, (1, 1) configurations are called distichous, and 2(1,1) are called decussate. Click here for more details about this terminology.

Note: while Fibonacci phyllotaxis is predominant in plants, we have chosen to show a variety of phyllotaxes in this gallery, some of which are much rarer than others. All plants samples are from the Smith Botanic Garden.


Movies of Cylindrical Phyllotaxis

Pineapple showing (8,13) (Fibonacci) phyllotaxis.
Wooden Model of decussate phyllotaxis.

Movie of Douady and Couder's Original Experiment

Small Quicktime animation (3.3MB)
Large quicktime (6MB)
Drops of ferrofluids are deposited periodically at the center of a circular dish filled with silicon oil. Under the effect of magnets surrounding the dish, the drops repel one another and are attracted to the edge of the dish. To Douady and Couder’s own amazement, when the magnetic field was slowly reduced during the process, the drops self-organized into Fibonacci phyllotactic patterns.