Fibonacci in Pine cone and Monkey Puzzle Tree

Fibonacci series on pine conePine cones show the Fibonacci series

Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci 1170 – 1250 

1  2  3  5  8  13  21  34  55  89  144  233  377  610  987  1597  2584  4181  etcThis sequence is known as the Fibonacci series, and is well known in mathematics. 

Each number is the sum of the previous two.  The ratio of successive pairs tends to the so-called golden section. Plants do not know about this – they just grow in the most efficient ways. 

Many plants show the Fibonacci numbers in the arrangement of the leaves around the stem. 

Some pine cones and fir cones also show the numbers, as do daisies and sunflowers.

Why do these arrangements occur in nature?  In the case of leaf arrangement, or phyllotaxis, some of the cases may be related to maximizing the space for each leaf, or the average amount of light falling on each one. 

Even a tiny advantage would come to dominate, over many generations.  In the case of close-packed leaves in cabbages and succulents the correct arrangement may be crucial for availability of space.

Fibonacci series - cabbage


Fibanacci on Monkey puzzle tree

Fibanacci on Monkey puzzle tree Monkey Puzzle tree

An example of Fibonacci on a Monkey Puzzle Tree where every part of the branch captures the maximum amount of daylight.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree


Please see other plants on my interactive plant finder, identification and pruning guide website

Photography Neil Bromhall. Complete Garden plant advice CD-ROM


One Response to Fibonacci in Pine cone and Monkey Puzzle Tree

  1. […] and just broke off (fluff everywhere, feh) until I noticed the crossed-spiral music (props to Fibonacci!) of the central stem.  Then it was a simple thing to just unwind the fibres; they popped right […]

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