Phyllotaxis ➶

Introduction to Chapter 4 of The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants:

The regular arrangement of lateral organs (leaves on a stem, scales on a cone axis, florets in a composite flower head) is an important aspect of plant form, known as phyllotaxis.

The area of phyllotaxis is dominated by intriguing mathematical relationships. One of them is the “remarkable fact that the numbers of spirals which can be traced through a phyllotactic pattern are predominantly integers of the Fibonacci sequence”. For example, Coxeter notes that the pineapple displays eight rows of scales sloping to the left and thirteen rows sloping to the right. Furthermore, it is known that the ratios of consecutive Fibonacci numbers Fk+1/Fk converge towards the golden mean τ = (√5 + 1)/2. The Fibonacci angle 360°τ −2, approximately equal to 137.5°, is the key to the first model discussed in this chapter.

✶ Monday, 24 June 2024

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