matplotlib.pyplot.plot_date(x, y, fmt='o', tz=None, xdate=True, ydate=False, *, data=None, **kwargs)[source]

Plot data that contains dates.

Similar to plot, this plots y vs. x as lines or markers. However, the axis labels are formatted as dates depending on xdate and ydate.

x, yarray-like

The coordinates of the data points. If xdate or ydate is True, the respective values x or y are interpreted as Matplotlib dates.

fmtstr, optional

The plot format string. For details, see the corresponding parameter in plot.

tztimezone string or datetime.tzinfo, default: rcParams["timezone"] (default: 'UTC')

The time zone to use in labeling dates.

xdatebool, default: True

If True, the x-axis will be interpreted as Matplotlib dates.

ydatebool, default: False

If True, the y-axis will be interpreted as Matplotlib dates.


A list of Line2D objects representing the plotted data.

Other Parameters:

Keyword arguments control the Line2D properties:

Property Description
agg_filter a filter function, which takes a (m, n, 3) float array and a dpi value, and returns a (m, n, 3) array
alpha float or None
animated bool
antialiased or aa bool
clip_box Bbox
clip_on bool
clip_path Patch or (Path, Transform) or None
color or c color
contains unknown
dash_capstyle {'butt', 'round', 'projecting'}
dash_joinstyle {'miter', 'round', 'bevel'}
dashes sequence of floats (on/off ink in points) or (None, None)
data (2, N) array or two 1D arrays
drawstyle or ds {'default', 'steps', 'steps-pre', 'steps-mid', 'steps-post'}, default: 'default'
figure Figure
fillstyle {'full', 'left', 'right', 'bottom', 'top', 'none'}
gid str
in_layout bool
label object
linestyle or ls {'-', '--', '-.', ':', '', (offset, on-off-seq), ...}
linewidth or lw float
marker marker style string, Path or MarkerStyle
markeredgecolor or mec color
markeredgewidth or mew float
markerfacecolor or mfc color
markerfacecoloralt or mfcalt color
markersize or ms float
markevery None or int or (int, int) or slice or List[int] or float or (float, float) or List[bool]
path_effects AbstractPathEffect
picker unknown
pickradius float
rasterized bool or None
sketch_params (scale: float, length: float, randomness: float)
snap bool or None
solid_capstyle {'butt', 'round', 'projecting'}
solid_joinstyle {'miter', 'round', 'bevel'}
transform matplotlib.transforms.Transform
url str
visible bool
xdata 1D array
ydata 1D array
zorder float

See also

Helper functions on dates.
Convert dates to num.
Convert num to dates.
Create an equally spaced sequence of dates.


If you are using custom date tickers and formatters, it may be necessary to set the formatters/locators after the call to plot_date. plot_date will set the default tick locator to AutoDateLocator (if the tick locator is not already set to a DateLocator instance) and the default tick formatter to AutoDateFormatter (if the tick formatter is not already set to a DateFormatter instance).


In addition to the above described arguments, this function can take a data keyword argument. If such a data argument is given, the following arguments can also be string s, which is interpreted as data[s] (unless this raises an exception): x, y.

Objects passed as data must support item access (data[s]) and membership test (s in data).

Examples using matplotlib.pyplot.plot_date