December 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Picture of the Day: Fractal Cauliflower

by twistedsifter





Photograph by Jon Sullivan


Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. First documented in Italy, it is light green in colour and approximates a natural fractal.

Romanesco broccoli’s inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems (plant tissue) making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli’s shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels.The vegetable is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.

The head of Romanesco broccoli is a visually striking example of an approximate fractal in nature. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number. In computer graphics, its pattern has been modeled as a recursive helical arrangement of cones. [Source: Wikipedia]



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