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The Child Of Nature
Photograph - Photography - Fine Art
Art is the child of Nature; yes,
Her darling child, in whom we trace
The features of the mother's face,
Her aspect and her attitude - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Child of Nature
A beautiful sunflower blooms upcountry in Kula on Maui
Helianthus annuus - Red Sun - Hawaii
The flower of a sunflower is actually several flowers, which is why it is considered an inflorescence. An inflorescence is a group of several flowers.
Therefore, the many individual packets at the center of the head are the fruits of the plant, not the seeds.
Each flower of the sunflower consists of the typical structures of a flower: receptacle, peduncle, sepal, petals, stamen, and a pistil.
Consequently, every flower is able to develop fruit, or the ripened ovary, with the ovule inside.
What is usually called the "flower" on a mature sunflower is actually a "flower head" (also known as a "composite flower") of numerous florets (small flowers) crowded together.
The outer petal-bearing florets (ray florets) are sterile and can be yellow, red, orange, or other colours. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds
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°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.
Copyright © 2013 Sharon Mau - All Rights Reserved
This is a Rights-Managed Image protected by copyright. My images do not belong to the public domain. Images may not be reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, copied, reproduced in derivative works, displayed, published or broadcast by any means or in any form without prior written consent from the artist Sharon Mau - Mahalo
A model for the pattern of florets in the head of a sunflower was proposed by H. Vogel in 1979.
This is expressed in polar coordinates where θ is the angle, r is the radius or distance from the center, and n is the index number of the floret and c is a constant scaling factor.
It is a form of Fermat's spiral. The angle 137.5° is related to the golden ratio (55/144 of a circular angle, where 55 and 144 are Fibonacci numbers) and gives a close packing of florets.
This model has been used to produce computer graphics representations of sunflowers.
October 5th, 2013
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