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Updated: Mar 27, 2023

There are so many spirals in nature! We see them in shells, pinecones, spider webs, cauliflower florets, unfurling ferns, hurricanes, galaxies - even our own DNA.

I am fascinated with this shape and created this ‘Fibonacci’ piece from the involucre (the whorl of bracts beneath the flower) and the disk and ray petals of a green Zinnia flower. It’s worth noting that all the species of Zinnia give another great example of the persistent spiral in nature. The irony that I deconstructed this perfect flower, pressed, and then recreated it is not lost on me!

Who was Fibonacci?

Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci was known as the greatest mathematician of the Middle Ages. I promise, no math here! The Fibonacci Sequence is a pattern of numbers that progresses from the sum of the two previous numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and on to infinity. This series of numbers reflects a pattern of growth.

A spiral is the most efficient way for plants to grow and allows them to compress themselves and take up less space. This growth habit (think of an unfurling fern) also strengthens the plant allowing it to be more resilient.

Spirals have also been regarded as sacred symbols among many ancient people, representing new life or eternity. A spiral symbolizes development, growth, cycles, and progress.

It’s beautiful to think about this ever-present and repeating shape in nature.

Take a closer look and see how many spirals you can observe in nature the next time you are out on a walk. It's exciting to spot them!

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