Fibonacci Spirals in the Garden

November 27, 2013

Fibinacci_Everywhere_Small (2)

Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Author: Greg Parker

My wife is the gardener in the family and knowing my interest in mathematical structures in Nature she came in from the garden quite excited one morning this past summer. She thought that she found two examples of Fibonacci spirals in some of our garden flowers and indeed she had. In the above photo, the flower on the left is the Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), and the unopened flower on the right is Rudbeckia (a plant genus of 23 species in the family Asteraceae), commonly called Black-Eyed Susan. In the middle is a mathematical simulation of a Fibonacci series, a logarithmic spiral often associated with the sunflower seed head. Note the similarities. The Feverfew itself looks very much like a daisy. However, a macro photograph of a daisy doesn’t show a very convincing Fibonacci spiral pattern of its inner yellow-orange florets. Photo taken on July 2, 2013.

Photo details: Macro photos taken using a Canon 5D MkII camera; ISO 100; 1/250th sec. exposure; f 25; using ring-flash, held manually; Canon 100mm macro lens (non-IS); used in autofocus mode.