The coordinated expansion of cells is essential to the formation of correctly shaped plant tissues and organs. Members of the radially swollen (rsw) class of temperature-sensitive arabidopsis mutants were isolated in a screen for reduced anisotropic expansion, by selecting plants with radially swollen root tips. Here we describe rsw6, in which cortical microtubules in the root epidermis are well organized in parallel arrays within cells, but neighboring cells frequently contain arrays differing in their mean orientation by up to 90 degrees. Microtubules in rsw6 are more resistant to oryzalin-induced depolymerization than wild-type microtubules, and their reorientation is accompanied by swelling of the epidermal cells. The reorientation phenotype is blocked by taxol and by the depolymerization of actin filaments. We propose that rsw6 microtubule organization is functional on a local level, but defective on a global scale. The rsw6 mutant provides a unique tool with which to study the coordination of microtubule organization at a multicellular level.