Φllotaxy

This is beautiful. Why do they have to make it sound all mysterious and difficult? That’s (the reciprocal of) the golden ratio, by the way.

[Textbook]

Transcript since the resolution is far from awesome: “Most angiosperms have alternate phyllotaxy, with leaves arranged in an ascending spiral around the stem, each successive leaf emerging 137.5° from the site of the previous one. Why 137.5°? Mathematical analyses suggest that this angle minimizes shading of the lower leaves by those above.”

\frac{137.5^\circ}{360^\circ} = 0.3819\ldots = 1 - 0.6180\ldots = 1 - \frac{1}{\phi} = \phi^{-2}

edit: Go figure, the angle itself is called the golden angle.

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