tree root system drawings 5
Pinus sylvestris
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1,180 Intricate Drawings of Root Systems from Wageningen University & Research: A Look at the Flora of Europe’s Roots

What comes to mind when you think about a root system? If you’re like most people, you probably think of a tangled mess of roots snaking their way through the soil. However, to Wageningen University & Research professors Dr. Erwin Lichtenegger and Dr. Lore Kutschera (leader of Pflanzensoziologisches Institute), root systems are art. The two collaborated for 40 years on drawings that depict the intricate patterns and routes of root systems. These drawings were part of a study on the flora of Europe, with a particular emphasis on Austria.
This book includes the above-ground and below-ground images of each plant or tree to show how they appear. The artists provide a scale on the side to help readers understand the sizes and dimensions of these root systems.
While the main aim of these drawing tasks was to learn how these fibrous networks gather nutrients and water for the plants, they are also beautiful pieces of artwork in their own right. Dr. Lichtenegger and Dr. Kutschera meticulously drew the extensive labyrinthine roots, which grew out, stretched in distant directions, and developed many branches over time. It emphasizes the serenity of a lesser-known part of nature.
Scroll down to view additional root drawings, and learn more about the series by reading Wageningen University’s website.

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tree root system drawings 6
Pinus sylvestris
tree root systems drawing 14
Picea abies
tree root systems drawing 10
Fagus sylvatica
tree root systems drawing 11
Fraxinus excelsior
tree root systems drawing 12
Juniperus communis ssp. communis
root system drawings 4 1
Zygophyllum xanthoxylon
tree root systems drawing 13
Juniperus communis ssp. alpina
tree root systems drawing 7
Pinus cembra
tree root systems drawing 8
Lolium multiflorum
root system drawings 1
Adonis vernalis
tree root systems drawing 9
Oxyria digyna

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