Modeling Dense Inflorescences

Andrew Owens1, Mikolaj Cieslak1, Jeremy Hart1, Regine Classen-Bockhoff2, and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz1,
1 University of Calgary
2 Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz


Showy inflorescences ‒ clusters of flowers ‒ are a common feature of many plants, greatly contributing to their beauty. The large numbers of individual flowers (florets), arranged in space in a systematic manner, make inflorescences a natural target for procedural modeling. We present a suite of biologically-motivated algorithms for modeling and animating the development of inflorescences with closely packed florets. These inflorescences share the following characteristics: (i) in their ensemble, the florets form a relatively smooth, often approximately planar surface; (ii) there are numerous collisions between petals of the same or adjacent florets; (iii) the developmental stage and type of a floret may depend on its position within the inflorescence, with drastic or gradual differences. To model flat-topped branched inflorescences (corymbs and umbels), we propose a florets-first algorithm, in which the branching structure self-organizes to support florets in predetermined positions. This is an alternative to the previous branching-first models, in which floret positions were determined by the branch arrangement. To obtain realistic visualizations, we complement the algorithms that generate the inflorescence structure with an interactive method for modeling floret corollas (petal sets). The method supports corollas with both separate and fused petals. We illustrate our techniques with models from several plant families.


Andrew Owens, Mikolaj Cieslak, Jeremy Hart, Regine Classen-Bockhoff, and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, Modeling Dense Inflorescences. ACM Transactions on Graphics 35(4), Article 136, SIGGRAPH 2016.

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