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Math Trek

Golden Blossoms, Pi Flowers

By
11:34am, August 27, 2002

In the head of a sunflower, the tiny florets that turn into seeds are typically arranged in two intersecting families of spirals, one winding clockwise and the other winding counterclockwise. Count the number of florets along a spiral and you are likely to find 21, 34, 55, 89, or 144. Indeed, if 34 floret (or seed) rows curve in one direction, there will be either 21 or 55 rows curving in the other direction.

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