The arrangement of leaves on the branches or stem is termed as phyllotaxy. The aim of phyllotaxy is to evade overcrowding of leaves so as to expose the leaves maximum sunlight for photosynthesis. The main four kinds of phyllotaxy are as follows:

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Figure: Types of Phyllotaxy

Alternate phyllotaxy:

In this form, the leaves are arranged alternatively in the nodes. There is merely one leaf at each node. Example: Polyalthia.

Opposite Phyllotaxy:

In this form of arrangement two leaves are existed at each node, lying opposite to one other.  It is of two forms:

a) Opposite superposed:

The pairs of leaves arranged in consecutive nodes and are in similar direction that is two opposite leaves at a node lie precisely above those at the lower node Example: Guava

b) Opposite decussate:

In this form of phyllotaxy one pair of leaves are located at right angles to the next upper or lower pair of leaves. Example: Calotropis

Ternate Phyllotaxy:

In this form there are three leaves joined at each node example: Nerium


In this form, more than three leaves are present in a spiral at each node. Example: Alamanda.

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