Getting Mathematical on Weeds.

Dandelions amaze me. We tend to take them for granted. “Huh. They’re just stupid weeds. “ , many of us might say.

But if you look closer, they’re actually quite beautiful.

you’ll find something even more amazing.And if you zoom in REALLY close. .

If you connect the dots. there’s definitely a spiral pattern there. . you can definitely count 13 curves in the clockwise direction.Notice.

‘ But if you connect the dots in a counter-clockwise direction. . you get 21 curves.

these are Fibonacci numbers. (13 and 21). 55. where any given number is the sum of the previous two. 5. For those of you who don’t recognize this. 3. 1. 0. 2. 8. 1. 89…. 13. . Consider this mathematical sequence of numbers. 21.Now. It’s quite simple: 0+1=1 1+1=2 1+2=3 2+ 3 = 5…and so on. while I digress for a bit. remember those numbers. 34.

Now. it forms a spiral seashell pattern. like this: a This is called the Fibonacci Spiral Now. let’s take my 13 clockwise red-curves: . and you get something like this: And if you draw a continuous arc though each square. if you draw a series of squares. based on the Fibonacci sequence.

and superimpose them on the Fibonacci Spiral. I get this: Kinda fits. one by one.And if I take them. doesn’t it? .

Same thing if I take the 21 counterclockwise curves… Again. when superimposed on the counter-clockwise Fibonacci spiral: . each curve also seems to fit.

Not to mention. Which are Fibonacci numbers themselves. Nature tends to like Fibonacci numbers.Now. For example. And the shape of these curves fit a spiral based on the Fibonacci sequence. connected dots and generated some rough curves. 5 or 8. . this is no accident. What’s going on here? Is this magic? Or a fluke? aa Actually. the number of clockwise and counter-clockwise spirals are 13 and 21. You see. let’s just recap: I zoomed in on a photo or a dandelion. But you see many with 3. you rarely see flowers with 4 or 6 petals.

But you can find some good discussions here and here. There’s a goodinteractive exercise that demonstrates this. you’ll find numbers 34 and 55. Plant leaves are arranged in Fibonnacci spirals. It’s not just dandelions. You’ll also find Fibonacci sequences with pine cones. Fibonacci numbers are everywher in Nature More examples are shown here. if seeds are arranged in Fibonacci spirals. 5. and you get more bang for your buck.Flowers seed pods are also arranged this way. it has to do with Nature trying to optimize itself. a It’s pretty amazing. one counterclockwise. unadulterated numbers: 0. it was 13 and 21. A sequence of pure. In this case. when you think about it. 2. With larger flowers (like Sunflowers). The number of spirals are always Fibonacci numbers…one clockwise. . I won’t get into the whole mathematical explanation. with my dandelion. It’s staring at us. 3. 21. And it’s architecture upon which much of Creation is built. But why Fibonacci numbers? Basically. 13. in our face. 1. 34…. to optimize the sunlight they recieve. With flowers. 1. you can fit more of them onto the plant. pineapples and asparagus and seashells. 8. Take an abstract concept.

and THAT’s why they amaze me.The miracle of Pure Math. Even with a lowly dandelion.. . combined with Mother Nature. .