[SciPy-User] Arrows in polar plot at zero degree

Marie-Therese Horstmann mhorstma@uni-bonn...
Wed Oct 14 06:53:07 CDT 2009

Hello everybody,

I currently experience some problem with arrows in polar 

Everything is fine, as long as the arrow does not cross 
the zero line. Here is an example from the matplotlib 
but with an arrow pointing at 45° outward.
To create the arrow I just added the following line:

arr = plt.arrow(45, 0.5, 0,1 , alpha = 0.5, width = 0.1, 
edgecolor = 'black', facecolor = 'green',lw = 2)

You can find the complete source code at the end of the 
If I want to point the arrow in zero direction,

arr = plt.arrow(0, 0.5, 0,1 , alpha = 0.5, width = 0.1, 
edgecolor = 'black', facecolor = 'green',lw = 2)

there is only the silhouette of an arrow visible, but 
nearly everthing seems to be green (as the arrow should 
be). For me it seems as there are some problems with the 
periodicity in polar plots.

Does anyone have an idea or a workaround?

Thank you very much in advance


Source code to reproduce the zero direction "arrow"

import matplotlib
import numpy as np
from matplotlib.pyplot import figure, show, rc, grid

# radar green, solid grid lines
rc('grid', color='#316931', linewidth=1, linestyle='-')
rc('xtick', labelsize=15)
rc('ytick', labelsize=15)

# force square figure and square axes looks better for 
polar, IMO
width, height = matplotlib.rcParams['figure.figsize']
size = min(width, height)
# make a square figure
fig = figure(figsize=(size, size))
ax = fig.add_axes([0.1, 0.1, 0.8, 0.8], polar=True, 

r = np.arange(0, 3.0, 0.01)
theta = 2*np.pi*r
ax.plot(theta, r, color='#ee8d18', lw=3)

ax.set_title("And there was much rejoicing!", fontsize=20)
#This is the line I added:
arr = plt.arrow(0, 0.5, 0,1 , alpha = 0.5, width = 0.1, 
edgecolor = 'black', facecolor = 'green',lw = 2)


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