The most enjoyable part of the school day for most kids is lunch and physical education, while math is the dull one; who wants to work on complicated formulas and problems. Right?

However, the truth is that math affects so many facets of our life. While you don’t need to be able to execute sophisticated calculations every day, having a solid understanding of the fundamentals will be pretty beneficial.

Floral design is one such area where math is crucial.

Does that sound absurd? Let’s find out.

What is Geometry in Flowers?

We are surrounded by geometry. This is never more true than when nature erupts into a riot of color in the springtime. You’ll notice patterns if you look closely: three petals in some flowers, five petals in others, an unfolding spiral, etc. Most people use flowers and foliage, both of which have quite particular shapes, and occasionally even learn to distinguish between filler materials, linear flowers, and face flowers. In most cases, geometric principles serve as the foundation for the general shape or pattern of flower arrangements.1,2

For example, throughout the plant kingdom, many flower heads develop with a particular pattern of petals, sepals, and spirals that correspond to the numbers in the Fibonacci series. In this series, each number is the sum of the two numbers before it 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on. Buttercups, for example, have five petals, lilies and iris have three, some delphiniums have eight, maize marigolds have 13, some asters have 21, and daisies can have as many as 34, 55, or even 89. Even while not all flowers fall within the fibonacci numbers, very few plants have petals or sepals with 4, 6, or 7 segments.2,3

Math in Floral Designs

A floral arrangement is heavily influenced by geometry. 4 The majority of florists design with both 2D and 3D ideas in mind. When designing an arrangement, symmetry is frequently used as well. Botanists and florists greatly benefit from the ability to classify plants based on the type and quantity of their blooms.

Floral designs incorporate several components: line, form, texture, space, pattern, color, size, and fragrance. Proportion, balance, dominance, rhythm, contrast, and unity are the central design tenets of floral arrangements, and scale, focal area/focal point, repetition, accent, depth, transition, variation, opposition, and tension are the secondary principles. All of these have significant mathematical components.5,6

Considering that most flowers are sold by the dozen, having an understanding of the multiplication facts can come in handy when working with them. For instance, a florist must feel at ease working with multiples and use fractions when customers request half a dozen flowers. Likewise, the proper proportion of the various flower kinds that should be in a bouquet is also determined in part by fractions.

Determining the precise amounts of food, soil, temperature, and water to use when caring for plants and flowers is crucial to sustaining healthy plants that may sell. So, florists must ensure that each plant is positioned correctly based on the time it spends in the sun and the ambient temperature because these details and dimensions could differ from plant to plant.7

Math is used in many facets of daily life, much like floral design. Being the universal language that it is, math permeates almost every sphere of your knowledge and experience. To dive deeper into these aspects, read  Radial Shapes -The Beauty of Mathematics in Nature!, Patterns in Nature: The Beauty of Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio, Concentric Circles in Nature, and  Fractals Found in Nature.

For more thought-provoking content like this article, navigate through BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog.

References:

1. Hidden geometry of flowers : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://archive.org/details/HiddenGeometryOfFlowersByK.Critchlow/page/n93/mode/2up
2. Math in Flowers – Symmetry, Fibonacci, and a Fun Video — Shade Metals. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.shademetals.com/blog/2018/2/22/math-in-flowers-symmetry-and-the-fibonacci-sequence
3. φ Fibonacci in Nature ★ Fibonacci. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://fibonacci.com/nature-golden-ratio/
4. Topic #9. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/syllabi/203/lectures/topic_9/topic9.html
5. Six Principles of Floral Design – Liva Flora. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://livaflora.com/six-principles-of-floral-design/
6. Principles of Floral Arrangement. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.baxtercountymg.com/uploads/8/4/4/5/84459238/principles_of_floral_arrangement.pdf
7. (PDF) Effects of soil temperature on Some Soil properties and plant growth. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323685894_Effects_of_soil_temperature_on_Some_Soil_properties_and_plant_growth