SunflowerSunflower plant forming a flower bud.Petals of a sunflower preparing to open

Petals of a sunflower preparing to open

Sunflower The nexus between art and science intrigues me.  The more I look, study  and  reflect on the design within nature the more I appreciate the relationship between science and art.  The elegant design of the sunflower is a good example of this relationship.  There is something in the design of a sunflower that informs our perception and moves us to call it beautiful.  When we study the structure of the sunflower we discover that the beauty is a combination of art and science.

The flower petals within the sunflower’s cluster are always in a spiral pattern.  Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5 degrees, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers.  This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.

This past spring I planted sunflowers  seeds then watched and photographed them from seedlings to mature plants.  These images were made from those plants.  To see additional images of the sunflowers I grew  visit my image archive;


Nexus of Science & Art


One thought on “Nexus of Science & Art

  1. Beautiful pictures, Wayne. Your mentioning the Fibonacci numbers reminds us that everything in science, and probably in art perception also (at least for the more traditional art forms), ultimately is determined by mathematical algorithms.


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