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‘Ternary’ is an R package that allows the creation of ternary plots (a.k.a. ternary graphs / simplex plots / Gibbs triangles / de Finetti diagrams) and Holdridge life zone diagrams using the familiar functions of the default ‘graphics’ package.

Example ternary plot
Example ternary plot

For simple use cases, generate ternary plots using the point-and-click Shiny app:


For greater control over your plots, use the R command line; usage instructions are available for Ternary plots (with an introductory vignette for R beginners), and for Holdridge plots.

Install the development version from GitHub with

devtools::install_github("ms609/Ternary", args = "--recursive")

This requires git to be installed and added to your PATH system environment variable. You may also require the ‘curl’ R package.

Please let me know of any feature requests or bugs by opening an issue on GitHub.


You can cite this package as:

Smith, Martin R. (2017). Ternary: An R Package for Creating Ternary Plots. Comprehensive R Archive Network, doi:10.5281/zenodo.1068996.

See also

The R package ‘ggtern’ implements ternary plots within the ‘ggplot2’ framework.

Please note that the ‘Ternary’ project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project, you agree to abide by its terms.