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Using the identification of several morphological criteria and considering the plant as a whole, from germination to death, architectural analysis is essentially a detailed, multilevel, comprehensive and dynamic approach to plant development.

Completed by precise morphological observations and appropriated quantitative methods of analysis, recent researches in this field have greatly increased our understanding of plant structure and development and have led to the establishment of a real conceptual and methodological framework for plant form and structure analysis and representation.

At the whole plant level, the architecture of a plant can be seen as a hierarchical branched system in which the axes can be grouped into categories which define the architectural unit of a species, a central concept in architectural methodology. At older growth stages, this architectural unit may be duplicated in the plant crown, through reiteration processes.

The architectural approach is a tool for plant organization description, for plant life history knowledge and plant structure sampling and measurements.

This methodology can be applied to describe the structure and dynamics of plants, based on the static information provided by different individual plants.

Despite their recent origin, architectural concepts and analysis methods provide a powerful tool for studying plant form and ontogeny.


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  • Grain numérique


PlantsBotanySpecific parts of and physiological systems in plantsplant architectureaxis typologyarchitectural unitsequence of developmentphysiological agebotaniquearchitecture des plantestypologie d'axesréitérationunité architecturaleséquence de développementâge physiologique


Yves Carraglio


Hatem Krit

Bruno Sabatier