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Fibonacci Day and “The Geometry of Flowers”

Nov 23, 2022 | Horticulture

Fibonacci Day and “The Geometry of Flowers”

Bulb Planting

Today is Fibonacci Day, which is held in celebration of one of the most important mathematicians of the Middle Ages: Leonardo Bonacci. Bonacci, later known as Fibonacci (“the son of Bonacci”), invented a sequence of numbers that shows up constantly in nature, physics, and design. 

These “Fibonacci numbers” are sequences of numbers and a corresponding ratio that reflect various natural patterns—from the swirl of a pinecone’s seeds to the curve of a nautilus shell. The order goes as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, and on to infinity, with each number a sum of the previous two. This sequence is often used to show that, although nature often appears random and chaotic, it is often more mathematical and predictable than one might expect.

In 2023, Madison Square Park Conservancy will host its 11th horticulture exhibition, The Geometry of Flowers, in ode to Fibonacci’s discovery. The exhibition will explore the hidden mathematical order found in nature, and the human element of replicating these patterns in design. Over 8,000 tulips, hyacinths, anemones, fritillarias, and chionodoxa bulbs will bloom, arranged in geometric shapes that remind us that there is sometimes order in chaos.

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