Spiralling upward

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18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thin vertical leaves often manifest twist. Perhaps the most prominent example of this is in Typha sp., but such twist is also apparent in Narcissus, Pancratium and many other genera. Such a blade is often referred to as a "spiral leaf". We will indicate the mechanical advantage afforded to the leaf by this arrangement, i.e. that it permits the leaf to achieve a greater height without losing stability, that is bending over due to its own weight. We quantify this gain and show how by a simple experiment it can be shown that the advantage is indeed utilized in nature. Typha domingensis is offered as an example.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume230
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2004

Keywords

  • Spiral leaf
  • Stability
  • Typha

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