Sunflowers and Math

“Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.”     (carl sagan)

“The morning glories and the sunflowers turn naturally toward the light, but we have to be taught, it seems.”

Science: Sunflower spirals obey laws of mathematics. Why Do Spirals Exist Everywhere in Nature?


Why do the number of spirals in a sunflower match up with the integers 34,55, 89 and 144; numbers found in the famous Fibonacci Sequence? The sunflower seed pattern used by the National Museum of Mathematics contains many spirals. If you count the spirals in a consistent manner, you will always find a Fibonacci number (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, …).  Found in many flowers, most notably the sunflower. Counting the spirals visible towards the outer edge of the logo we find 34 clockwise and 21 counter-clockwise spirals. The numbers 21 and 34 are sequential entries in a famous number sequence called the Fibonacci sequence. This is no coincidence.