fractals in biology

romanesco (brassica oleracea)

i laid my hands on romanesco – and couldn’t give it away before i had taken some photos of it.
if you know what this vegetable looks like, you might be able to understand why:
romanesco is a variant form of cauliflower (brassica oleracea var. botrytis), looks more like broccoli in its general shape and colour, but has one amazing feature: its flower buds exhibit a high level of self-similarity.
each little “bud cone” is made up by lots of smaller cones – they are fractal spirals (romanesco is sometimes called “fractal broccoli”).
furthermore, the number of cones in each spiral is part of the fibonacci sequence.

very well-suited to stare at in amazement ;-)

[view photos: romanesco ]

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