May 13, 2012

Plants and Fibonacci Numbers


Plants illustrate the Fibonacci series in the numbers and arrangements of petals, leaves, sections and seeds.

Fibonacci numbers in plant spirals

Fibonacci spirals in a sunflower seed

Plants that are formed in spirals, such as pinecones, pineapples and sunflowers, illustrate Fibonacci numbers.  Many plants produce new branches in quantities that are based on Fibonacci numbers.

Fibonacci numbers in plant branching

Here a sunflower seed illustrates this principal as the number of clockwise spirals is 55 (marked in red, with every tenth one in white) and the number of counterclockwise spirals is 89 (marked in green, with every tenth one in white.)

Fibonacci series in plant growth

Here a plant illustrates that each successive level of branches is often based on a progression through the Fibonacci series.

Fibonacci numbers in plant sections

You might expect symmetry in plants, but if you cut a fruit or vegetable you will often find that the number of sections is a Fibonacci number:

Fibonacci number in a banana sectional slice

Bananas have 3

Fibonacci number in an apple sectional slice

Apples have 5


Fibonacci numbers in flower petals

Many flowers have petals that total a number in, or very close to, the Fibonacci series:

Fibonacci series in the petals of a flower

3 Lilies
5 Buttercups, Roses
8 Delphinium
13 Marigolds
21 Black-eyed susans
34 Pyrethrum
55/89 Daisies


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Gayatri July 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

Please include more stuff in this page. It is great, but falls short in terms of detail


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