The Golden Ratio in Flowers
Leonardo Fibonacci discovered an amazing sequence of numbers that ties nature and mathematics together in fascinating ways. This ratio is thought to exist in nature because its particular growth pattern is the most effective. Adolf Zeisig, a mathematician and philosopher, found the golden ratio in plant stems, veins of leaves, skeletons of animals, chemical compounds and the geometry of crystals. He proposed it as a universal law “in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form.”
The Fibonacci sequence starts with 1, and each additional number is the sum of the two numbers immediately before it (1+0=1, 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8, 13, 21,34, 89, etc). If we take each number and divide it by the previous number in the sequence (2/1= 2, 3/2=1.5, 5/3=1.67, 8/5=1.6, etc) it gradually approaches the golden ratio (1.6180339887) which is viewed as aesthetically pleasing and is found in architecture, economics, music, and nature. Sunflowers and many other flowers have adapted to pack as many seeds as possible into its flower space. The angle of adjacent seeds to one another is exactly correspondent to the golden ratio, and the number of lines in its spirals is almost always a number in the Fibonacci sequence.
Check out some more instances of the Golden Ratio in flowers below!