Phyllotaxis

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Crisscrossing spirals of Aloe polyphylla

Phylotaxy or phylotaxis is the mode of arrangement of leaves on the stem of a plant (from Ancient Greek phýllon "leaf" and táxis "arrangement").

Phyllotaxy has a function: it avoids over-crowding of leaves, and exposes the leaves to the most sunlight for photosynthesis. The four main types of phyllotaxy are alternate, opposite, ternate and whorled.