July 18, 2024



How the cauliflower got its mesmerizing fractals



For at least two thousand years, humans have noticed that many plants grow leaves or flowers in a spiral pattern. Some of these plants, such as the cauliflower, take it a step further, growing spirals in self-repeating patterns commonly known as fractals. The resulting patterns are fascinating and intriguing, which begs the question: why do cauliflower and other fractal-like plants grow like this? French researchers at CNRS posed this exact question and identified an underlying genetic mechanism that produces fractal geometry.

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