‘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.

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.