Fibonacci a la Broccoli Romanesco

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Yes, this is a real plant.  I had a bit of Broccoli Romanesco for dinner last night, just a garnish-sized portion alongside the entrée, but so surreal I (almost) hesitated to cut into it.  Happy to see a friend synchronistically post a Broccoli Romanesco picture today on Facebook.  Lots of plants have some geometric properties to them, but most are far more subtle about it, i.e. mint family plants and their square stalks, fruit trees and their five-petalled blossoms.

Broccoli Romanesco doesn’t mess around.  This is like the Escher artwork of vegetables.

Fibonacci spirals show up in seashells, pinecones and pineapples, the seed-head of a sunflower.  When you make a fist, your thumb, hand and fingers naturally reveal their relative Fibonacci proportions.  The ratio of male-to-female bees in a hive is Fibonacci-based. The Golden Mean and sacred geometry: Fibonacci-based.

Numerically, the Fibonacci numbers go like this:

  • 0 + 1 = 1
  • 1 + 1 = 2
  • 1 + 2 = 3
  • 2 + 3 = 5
  • 3 + 5 = 8
  • 5 + 8 = 13
  • 8 + 13 = 21
  • 13 + 21 = 34 . . .
  • Extended a bit further, the Fibonacci sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 . . .
  • The (larger) numbers express a predictable and harmonious relationship between the numbers, which can also be written as 1 : 1.618. . .

In the simplest sense, this is everywhere.  I take notes on 3″ x 5″ cards, I have a 5′ x 8′ rug, and if I’m lucky, I eat Fibonacci-shaped broccoli.  In the Math for Mystics book, Fibonacci is Chapter 9.  Food isn’t the focus there, but this broccoli is inspirational – what would a Fibonacci feast, or a Golden Mean meal, look like?

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One thought on “Fibonacci a la Broccoli Romanesco

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