|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|A picture of a flower here on TN made me wonder why a lot of flowers have 5 petals. A quick search revealed a fascinating answer, at least to me a physics person by training and profession. Reproduced below is a gist of the answer.|
Probably most of us have never taken the time to examine very carefully the number or arrangement of petals on a flower. If we were to do so, we would find that the number of petals on a flower, for many flowers is a very specific number a Fibonacci number:
* 3 petals: lily, iris
* 5 petals: buttercup, wild rose, larkspur,
* 8 petals: delphiniums
* 13 petals: ragwort, corn marigold, cineraria,
* 21 petals: aster, black-eyed susan, chicory
* 34 petals: plantain, pyrethrum
* 55,89 petals: michaelmas daisies,asteraceaes
Why is it that the number of petals in a flower is often one of the following numbers: 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 or 55? .Are these numbers the product of chance? No! Well it so happens that there indeed is a attern. They all belong to the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. (where each number is obtained from the sum of the two preceding). A more abstract way of putting it is that the Fibonacci numbers fn are given by the formula f1 = 1, f2 = 2, f3 = 3, f4 = 5 and generally f n+2 = fn+1 + fn . For a long time, it had been noticed that these numbers were important in nature, but only relatively recently that one understands why. It is a question of efficiency during the growth process of plants.So mathematics at work behind this simple natural phenomenon.
For those of who might be hooked like I was to find out more here is the link
And now some info regarding the flower here.
Common name: Malabar Melastome, Indian-rhododendron
Botanical name: Melastoma malabathricum ssp. malabathricum Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)
Malabar Melastome is an evergreen shrub, up to 2 m tall. In Southeast Asia and elsewhere it is a widespread weed of industrial forest plantation crops (such as rubber and mahogany), orchards, and rice fields. Melastoma malabathricum is the most widespread and morphologically most variable species of the genus, resulting in the descr´ption of many separate
species. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, 6-15 x 2-6.5 cm, occasionally narrowly lanceolate to oblong, 4-6 x 0.6-1.5 cm, base rounded to acute, tip pointed. Its flowers vary from light to dark pink and have 5 petals. The flowers are arranged in around 1-5 flowered clusters. Like all Melastomes it has dissimilar stamens, numbering twice the number of petals. The flower shows 5 purple, curved anthers, and 5 yellow anthers. Fruit a berry-like capsule with numerous seeds coated with red, sweet astringent pulp.
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