Fibonacci refers to patterns of numbers in nature, and were first described by the mathematician Leonardo of Pisa. You can see them in the arrangement of stems on a branch, on pinecones, artichokes, pineapples, and sunflowers. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the two preceding it, e.g. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …
My botanical illustration teacher provided us with a handout from Trudi Hammel Garland, and it discusses sunflowers. They have rows of seeds spiraling out in different directions. She says “if one clear row can be identified (going either clockwise or counterclockwise), and all others like it are counted, the number of such rows is usually a Fibonacci number”, as are those going in the opposite direction. I haven’t counted these, and need to get on with the day. Actually, my eyes would have trouble with the count! Going to walk the Sky Trail loop again before it gets too hot.

Sunflower, feathers, gentian sage, dahlia and sunflower petals

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  1. Riitta M Serumgard


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