The striking pattern seen in
the sunflower (Helianthus annuus) floral
head is a famous example of the Fibonacci series.
you observe an adult sunflower head,
what you see is not a single flower but instead many small
flowers. The central flowers are
organized such that
your eye can easily discern spiral paristiches, both clockwise
counter-clockwise. When counted in each
direction, these spirals
almost always exhibit numbers of the Fibonacci sequence. This
pattern has fascinated biologists,
mathematicians, and physicists for hundreds of years.
I am examining how the information for this
pattern is transmitted in both space (the growing sunflower
(through the life of the plant).
Using micro-surgical techniques and biochemical manipulation I have inferred interesting properties about the establishment and maintenance of this pattern: The Fibonacci spirals seen with the eye are an emergent property that results from a local organizing rule, and a pattern 'history' in time.