Phyllotactic patterns on plants

Patrick D. Shipman, Alan C. Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An approach to minimize the elastic energy of the plant surface posticts spiral and whorl patterns was described. The strain energy was minimized by configurations consiting of special triads of almost periodic deformations. It was found that when the stress was larger than critical value, the constant deformation state was found to be linearly unstable and certain shapes and configurations were amplified. A wide spectrum of plant patterns were reproduced with the divergence angles observed in nature, to show the occurrences of Fibonacci-like sequences and the golden angle as natural consequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168102
Pages (from-to)168102-1-168102-4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 23 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Phyllotactic patterns on plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this