Nature and Mathematics – An Amazing Amalgamation!

The Seeds of the Sunflower

The pattern of seeds held within the center of the Sunflower is a mathematical marvel – it follows the Fibonacci sequence, or 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. In sunflowers, the spirals you see in the center are generated from this sequence – there are two series of curves winding in opposite directions, starting at the center and stretching out to the petals, with each seed sitting at a certain angle from the neighboring seeds to create the spiral.

The number of petals in many flowers is often one of the following numbers: 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 or 55. The lily has three petals, buttercups have five of them and the daisy often has 34 or 55 petals.