PhylloTrees - Phyllotactic Patterns for Tree Layout



We explore the use of nature’s phyllotactic patterns to inform the layout of hierarchical data. These naturally occurring patterns provide a non-overlapping, optimal packing when the total number of nodes is not known a priori. PhylloTrees are a family of expandable tree layouts that we developed based on these patterns.


A random balanced tree with 105.100 nodes.

Unbalanced tree showing a weblog file from the University of Maryland.

Unbalanced tree showing 190.000 nodes of the animal kingdom.


This applet shows how to influence a phyllotactic pattern.


Petra Neumann, Sheelagh Carpendale, and Anand Agarawala (2006) PhylloTrees: Phyllotactic Patterns for Tree Layout. In Dieter Fellner, Torsten Möller, and Stephen Spencer, eds., Proceedings of Eurographics / IEEE VGTC Symposium on Visualization (EuroVis 2006, May 8–10, 2006, Lisbon, Portugal). Eurographics, Aire-la-Ville, pages 59–66, 365, 2006.

BibTeX entry:

@INPROCEEDINGS{Neumann:2006:PPP, author = {Petra Neumann and Sheelagh Carpendale and Anand Agarawala}, title = {PhylloTrees}: {P}hyllotactic {P}atterns for {T}ree {L}ayout, booktitle = {Proceedings of Eurographics\ /\ IEEE VGTC Symposium on Visualization (EuroVis\ 2006, May 8--10, 2006, Lisbon, Portugal)}, series = {Eurographics Workshop Series}, OPTeditor = {Dieter Fellner and Torsten M{\"o}ller and Stephen Spencer}, year = {2006}, pages = {59--66, 365}, publisher = {Eurographics}, address = {Aire-la-Ville}, doi = {10.2312/VisSym/EuroVis06/059-066}, doi_url = {}, url2 = {}, pdf = {../publications/papers/Neumann_2006_PPP.pdf}, }

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